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Wrangler2008 Wrangler and Liberty Receive Marginal Crash Test Scores
Posted by mike on 2008/2/26 6:52:33 (3729) reads

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) just released its results for mid-size SUVs, and the Liberty and Wrangler didn't do so well.

In the side test, the Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Nitro and Kia Sorento, all 2008 models, were the worst performers. The Liberty, Wrangler and Nitro all received the second-lowest rating "marginal," while the Sorento had the lowest rating of "poor."

Joe Nolan, the Insurance Institute's senior vice president, said in the report that the side impact evaluation revealed some "surprising" results.

"SUVs should have an inherent advantage in such [side] crashes because drivers and passengers ride higher up than in cars. People often think they're safer in an SUV, but many cars perform much better in our side test than some of the SUVs in this group."

The IIHS report noted that the Jeep Wrangler was tested without its optional combination head and torso side airbags. Manufacturers may request a second test with the airbag option at their own expense. But Chrysler, which makes the Wrangler, did not request another test, according to the report.

"We assume that Chrysler doesn't expect the Wrangler to perform much better, even with the optional airbags," Nolan said in the report.

Max Gates, a Chrysler spokesman, said in a statement that the IIHS report contains "unsupported speculation" about the company's reasons for not paying to conduct a second side impact test for the Wrangler.

"In fact, our internal testing indicates there is additional protection provided by side air bags," he said.

Check out the entire article over at

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Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/3/3 8:49  Updated: 2008/3/3 8:49
Home away from home
Joined: 2002/3/22
Posts: 247
 Re: 2008 Wrangler and Liberty Receive Marginal Crash Test...
You are going to get injured to a certain extent in ANY side impact collision...they usually occur at an intesection, and the offending driver is usually going at full speed (speed limit or higher) because they missed the stop light or stop sign...

I'll take the Wrangler's full rollcage (even if it is bolted in instead of welded) and REAL framerails over a crush-zone unibody anyday.

Plus this type of testing is not very reliable in replicating real-world acciddents.

I remember a few years back, IIHS and/or NHSTA were complaining about knee injury and femur breakage in front end accidents from the knee hitting the front panel, and they called for padding to be placed in those areas...So the automakers complied, and knee injuries and femur breakage went down, but Hip injuries skyrocketed because of the transfewr of force from the knee, and the breakage point of the femur to the hip....

So what's the moral of the story? ER Docs and surgeons agreed that while knee and Femur injuries were serious, they healed relatively fast, while hip injuries required years of rehab and possibly hip replacement surgery,with little possibility of a full recovery.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/2/27 16:23  Updated: 2008/2/27 16:23
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/18
From: Pennsylvania
Posts: 266
 Re: 2008 Wrangler and Liberty Receive Marginal Crash Test...
This is a total load of crapola.
Here is the link for the official NHTSA ratings:

I think it's a mistake by Chrysler to let this go without submitting another vehicle WITH airbags. They are getting so much bad press on this.

Perhaps Jeep should just include the side-airbags in the price of their flagship model?

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/2/26 9:45  Updated: 2008/2/26 9:45
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/13
Posts: 377
 Re: 2008 Wrangler and Liberty Receive Marginal Crash Test...

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/2/26 10:48  Updated: 2008/2/26 10:50
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2008 Wrangler and Liberty Receive Marginal Crash Test...
Nice catch, and you got me curious... So, I did some research (OK, Googling...) and found out that there has been an ongoing debate over the differences between the IIHS and NHTSA tests. Quite a can of worms! Between the 2 organizations, the testing is far from "standardized". They use different speeds, different "offsets", different impact "heights", and with fixed or "movable" (squishy) barriers. So, it's apples & oranges, and neither organization is inclined to adopt the other's standards.

After reading related info on the following sites, I've got a headache...
Wiki: IIHS
Informed for Life - website that unifies IIHS & NHTSA ratings
SUV/Truck Crash Test ratings explained
Insurance site that explains crash test ratings

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/2/26 8:02  Updated: 2008/2/26 8:22
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2008 Wrangler and Liberty Receive Marginal Crash Test...
My recollection of the Wranglers is that --historically-- the front impact ratings were usually excellent (I believe Wrangler and one of the Volvos shared top honors one year...) and the side impact ratings were usually dismal. Seems like a side impact just crushes the sheet metal through to the first frame rail.

No problema, just don't get in an accident, or scootch over to the middle if you see it coming!

With the bad press (and word of mouth) this report generates, it's bound to reflect poorly on Chrysler as a whole. You'd think they'd want to cough up a measily $25K to run the second test. Better yet, why didn't the IIHS test a model with the side airbags in the first place?

I believe NHTSA has toyed with the idea of making side impact airbags a requirement... but it's not yet mandated...

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/2/26 23:14  Updated: 2008/2/26 23:14
Just popping in
Joined: 2007/9/12
Posts: 14
 Re: 2008 Wrangler and Liberty Receive Marginal Crash Test...
Last time I checked there was a sticker on the sun visor that said, "top and door are only designed for protection against the elements."

That's reason enough to know that I may not be in good spirits if someone decides to play bumper cars in an intersection.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2008/2/27 6:02  Updated: 2008/2/27 8:42
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2008 Wrangler and Liberty Receive Marginal Crash Test...
The plot thickens... Was that on a soft top model, with soft or half doors?

Some heavy duty nerf bars are starting to look good again!
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