2020 Jeep Wrangler Tips Over In Latest IIHS Safety Test

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - May 11, 2020

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently put the Jeep Wrangler (2018-2020) through its crash tests and things for the off-roading-oriented SUV didn’t go well. While the Wrangler earned the institute’s highest rating of Good in four tests, the SUV earned a Marginal rating in the driver-side small overlap front test. Additionally, the SUV tipped over onto its side and slid along the floor after hitting the barrier used in the test. The IIHS completed the test twice and the Wrangler rolled onto its passenger side both times after hitting the barrier.

Obviously, a vehicle rolling over onto its side after an accident isn’t a good thing. The IIHS explains why they’re so dangerous. “Rollovers – even partial ones like those that occurred in the Wrangler tests – are especially dangerous crashes, in part due to the risk of complete or partial ejection,” states the institute. The concern of complete or partial ejection is a large issue with the Wrangler, as owners can remove the roof and doors and lower the windshield. The rugged SUV also lacks side curtain airbags, which, as the IIHS points out, are designed to deploy in the case of a rollover to keep occupants inside the vehicle. Jeep doesn’t have to fit the Wrangler with side-curtain airbags because of the SUV’s removable roof.

After the first time the Wrangler tipped over in the IIHS’ audit test, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles questioned how the institute’s engineers attached the vehicle to the crash propulsion system. The IIHS agreed to conduct a second test on the Wrangler using a method that was approved by FCA. Unfortunately, the second test resulted in the same way – the Wrangler tipping over and sliding on the floor after crashing into the barrier.

As the IIHS points out, the Wrangler’s poor performance in the driver-side small overlap test is surprising, because the previous generation of the SUV earned a rating of Good in the same test. That generation of the Wrangler didn’t roll over onto its side during the IIHS’ tests.

The 2020 Jeep Wrangler also performed poorly in the IIHS’ tests when it came to headlights. Both of the SUV’s available headlights (halogen units are standard, while LED projector headlights are available) were found to be Poor, the lowest score possible.

In a statement to CNET’s Roadshow, FCA told the outlet, “FCA has produced more than 500,000 of these vehicles. From this population, we are unaware of any incidents that correlate with the vehicle dynamic portion of the IIHS test result. With more than 75 available safety and security features, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited meets or exceeds all federal safety standards and continues to win acclaim from news organizations and consumer groups."

When it comes to standard safety features, the Wrangler doesn’t come with a lot. Only a rearview camera comes as standard on the base trim. Things like blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and rear parking sensors are available as options. For what it’s worth, the IIHS found the Wrangler’s available vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system to be Superior, the highest score possible.

Learn more about the Jeep Wrangler »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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