The new Jeep Wrangler has performed poorly in overseas crash tests. Picture: Supplied.
The new Jeep Wrangler has performed poorly in overseas crash tests. Picture: Supplied.

Shock crash test result for Jeep

THE JEEP Wrangler has been awarded a lowly one-star rating in the latest round of Euro NCAP independent crash tests.

The Wrangler, which is yet to be released in Australia but is on sale overseas, was found to provide weak chest protection to the driver and poor protection for rear passengers in crash barrier tests.

It was also criticised for lacking the latest crash avoidance technology.

Euro NCAP says the Jeep Wrangler performed poorly in crash tests. Picture: Supplied.
Euro NCAP says the Jeep Wrangler performed poorly in crash tests. Picture: Supplied.

Secretary-general of EuroNCAP, Michiel van Ratingen, was scathing in his criticism of Jeep's owner, the Fiat-Chrysler group.

"It is truly disappointing to see a brand-new car being put on sale in 2018 with no autonomous braking system and no lane assistance. It is high time we saw a product from the Fiat-Chrysler group offering safety to rival its competitors."

Fiat-Chrysler says the Wrangler "meets or exceeds federal safety requirements in every market in which it is sold".

The company says the Jeep is designed for demanding off-road driving and that "testing protocols that apply exclusively to urban scenarios may not align with such a vehicle."

The Wrangler undergoes crash testing in Europe. Picture: Supplied.
The Wrangler undergoes crash testing in Europe. Picture: Supplied.

Fiat Chrysler Australia says the one-star rating may not apply to local vehicles because they will be available with autonomous emergency braking, which can slam on the brakes if the technology senses an imminent collision.

"The Jeep Wrangler arrives in Australia with a long list of standard and available safety equipment, including front and side airbags, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, parking sensors, a rear-view camera and autonomous emergency braking, all of which is paired with the use of high-strength steel in its construction designed to protect the cabin in the case of an accident," a spokeswoman says.

The Wrangler will arrive in Australia in the first quarter of next year. Picture: Supplied.
The Wrangler will arrive in Australia in the first quarter of next year. Picture: Supplied.

The company argues that the Jeep is a specialist off-road performance vehicle with features not found on regular vehicles.

"Part of what makes it such an icon, is the fact that its doors, roof and windscreen can be removed or folded down," she says.

Australia's independent crash test body ANCAP says it is working with Fiat Chrysler Australia to determine the safety specification of models to be supplied locally.

"Until the local specifications are confirmed, ANCAP is unable to assess if the European test results and subsequent star rating can be applied to local models," a spokeswoman says.

Jeep argues the Wrangler is a special purpose off-road vehicle. Picture: Supplied.
Jeep argues the Wrangler is a special purpose off-road vehicle. Picture: Supplied.

"The European result is disappointing for a newly designed vehicle, and I'd encourage FCA to use the opportunity to improve the safety result in time for its Australasian launch."

Fiat Chrysler says the Jeep is built using high-strength steel in all critical areas.

"The vehicle offers more than 70 advanced safety and security features," the company says.

"Safety is something we take incredibly seriously, and every other member of our Jeep family of vehicles wears a five-star safety rating with pride, whether they have been crash-tested by ANCAP in Australia or by Euro NCAP."

The Wrangler will arrive in Australia in the first quarter of next year.


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