But what was the cause?
A few days ago, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash-tested the 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and, well, it didn't go so well. The always popular Wrangler became the first vehicle to tip over in the IIHS small-overlap test at 40 mph. As a result, the agency gave the Wrangler a Marginal rating for this specific test. Not only was the IIHS surprised by what happened, but so was FCA. And now, according to Jalopnik, the automaker is working on a fix.
The IIHS says it's not entirely sure why the Wrangler tipped over, something that didn't happen with the previous generation during the same test. The agency added that while the current Wrangler scored overall good ratings in its other tests, "a vehicle tipping on its side in a frontal crash is not acceptable. A partial roll would not happen in every real-world crash, but if it does happen it is not a good outcome."
At the same time, FCA confirmed to the agency some necessary changes are being made but no exact time frame was given for when they'll be ready. So, what are those changes, exactly?
It refused to provide any details, only that "No single test determines vehicle safety. FCA routinely monitors third-party evaluations and factors such findings into our product-development process. We design our vehicles for real-world performance. And real-world data, along with continuing demand, indicate the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited meets or exceeds customer expectations."
Without any specific details as to what went wrong during the recent crash test, it's hard to speculate the exact cause. It's also certainly possible FCA still doesn't have the answer yet, hence its relatively general statement.
Fortunately, the dummy inside the vehicle handled the rollover well as its movement was "well-controlled." It's also worth pointing out that during FCA's own tests, the Wrangler didn't tip over, a fact that initially made FCA engineers question how their IIHS counterparts attached the vehicle to the crash propulsion system. The agency agreed this could have been an issue and conducted a second test using a different method. Again, the Wrangler rolled on to its side.
So now it's in FCA's hands to figure what exactly went wrong and how it can be repaired.