Video: Swedish “Elk Safety Test” raises eyebrows for current Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler currently investigating

Chrysler is under some scrutiny over in Europe after a video of a unique safety test that took place in Sweden. Within said video, some Swedish journalists at Teknikens Värld put a fairly top-spec Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland through the country’s special Teknikens Moose—or Elk in simpler terms—test, and some startling results were discovered.

The test has the SUV travelling at a rather modest 40 mph, where the driver then performs a very sharp and sudden evasive lane change maneuver to mimic the existence of a passing three-plus-ton hunk of living flesh and bones on hooves. While the test unfolded, the Jeep Grand Cherokee was found to have performed surprisingly poor to the test, nearly flipping and losing a rear tire under its own weight shift as the SUV reentered its path of travel about three-quarters of the way through the evasive maneuver. And this all happened, despite being equipped with heavy 20-inch wheels, rollover protection, and stability control all standard.

As the video hit the web and grew in views, eyebrows began to rise regarding either the test itself, or the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s not too shabby National Highway Traffic Safety Rating. To specify, the Jeep Grand Cherokee received an average of four stars, with five stars being awarded for side impacts, but only three stars for rollover resistance in rear-wheel drive form, and four with four-wheel drive.

Over at Chrysler’s brand fansite, Allpar, they published an article alleging that the Swedish video test was rigged, suggesting that the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland was intentionally overloaded. Their report also said that the Swedish magazine reattempted the test eleven separate times with three different and correctly loaded Grand Cherokees while Chrysler engineers stood on the sidelines and were “unable to reproduce” the wheel lift condition.

In response to AutoBlog’s discovery of this video and stirrup, Chrysler themselves have released a press release stating that they’re currently investigating the situation. To view their response, check it out below.

Regardless of whether the test was rigged or not, it does raise some question to the Jeep Grand Cherokee’s safety. And that’s through the consideration of how American drivers tend to drive on the speedy side and how frequently people overload their cars more than they should. Of course, Sweden’s Elk Test is a rather unique situation. But again, considering how many times I’ve nonchalantly loaded a car with a few too many people for a quick ride down the street or to the other side of town, it does add for some food for thought about the situation as a whole and the practicality of the test in general.

Press Release:

Grand Cherokee Statement for Teknikens Varld Test

Chrysler Group engineers are investigating a Swedish magazine’s evaluation of the 2012 Grand
Cherokee. During the evaluation, the publication was able to capture images of a Grand Cherokee on two wheels as it performed an extreme maneuver in an overloaded condition.

Advised of this event by the magazine, Chrysler Group engineers made numerous attempts to
reproduce the wheel-lift in a properly loaded vehicle. Extensive testing produced no such result.
A subsequent evaluation was conducted by the magazine July 8 in Sweden and witnessed by Chrysler Group engineers. Three vehicles performed 11 runs on a course prepared by the magazine. None reproduced the original event.

The uncharacteristic result was obtained using a vehicle loaded beyond its weight specifications. The Grand Cherokee’s weight limitations are clearly stated on the vehicle and in the owner’s manual. Also, the extreme maneuver performed by the magazine is not certified by any regulatory agency, nor is it used to establish any sanctioned safety ratings.
Chrysler Group takes seriously any safety concerns and engineers are examining the event to better understand the magazine’s claims.

A “Top Safety Pick” of the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2012 Grand Cherokee is an award-winning SUV that features Electronic Stability Control and Electronic Roll Mitigation as
standard equipment. It meets or exceeds all government safety mandates and its outstanding
performance has made it the most awarded SUV in history.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: AutoBlog