The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety posted a new video of a 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited tipping over during crash testing.
Any rollover situations, especially on a vehicle with removable body panels, have the potential to cause injury to vehicle occupants.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a nonprofit that puts cars through much stricter crash testing than the federal government does. It's meant to provide a bigger-picture look at an individual vehicle's safety in a variety of crash types, and its Top Safety Pick awards are highly sought after. But sometimes, things don't turn out exactly as expected.
The IIHS this week posted a new video that shows the 2022 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited tipping over during one of the Institute's crash tests. In the video, the Wrangler is put through the driver-side small overlap crash test, a particularly tricky test that simulates a near-glancing blow on the front end. When the Wrangler Unlimited contacts the crash structure, it tips onto its passenger side and slides to a stop.
This gives the 2022 Wrangler Unlimited a rating of Marginal on this test. A top rating of Good is required to be eligible for the IIHS' Top Safety Pick award. As the IIHS notes in its blog post, rollovers can increase the risk of passenger ejection, which is a big safety concern on a vehicle with removable body panels and no side-curtain airbags.
However, to the Wrangler Unlimited's credit, the IIHS notes several places where the Jeep performed admirably. The safety cage surrounding the occupants held up well, while the vehicle's restraints kept the test dummy's body from making too many unwanted movements.
According to the IIHS' blog post, Jeep parent company Stellantis has been working to prevent this specific test result since 2019, when it was first noticed that it could tip over during the driver-side small overlap test. Automakers can submit their own testing to IIHS for verification, because the Institute cannot test every vehicle produced in a given year, and Stellantis' self-submitted 2019 Wrangler Unlimited testing did not feature any tipping over. However, a subsequent IIHS audit resulted in a tip-over.
"Available in more than 24,000 configurations, the four-door Jeep Wrangler meets or exceeds all federal safety standards and continues to win acclaim from news organizations and consumer advocates," said a Stellantis spokesperson in an emailed statement. "Since its 2017 introduction, the current model has earned more than two dozen awards for attributes ranging from design to capability, to residual value. Stellantis is reviewing this latest result." The company also said it is unaware of any field reports that are similar to the IIHS' results in this test.