Jeep Grand Cherokee and the international "moose test"
Chrysler engineers probably did not expect the all-new Grand Cherokee to be in an international controversy over a "moose test".
The controversy started when the Swedish consumer magazine Teknikens Varld tested the Grand Cherokee on a "moose test".
"Moose test", also known as "elk test", measures vehicle's stability during an emergency maneuver.
The name is derived from the trend in Sweden to build safer vehicles against collisions with wild animals.
Unfortunately, deer (including moose and elk) have become the most deadly creature against human beings, as more fatalities occur after vehicles hit these large wild animals.
Since these accidents happen more often than most people think, it would be appropriate for the consumer organizations to call out manufacturers' gross negligence.
When Teknikens Varld performed the "moose test" on the Grand Cherokee, they concluded that the vehicle would roll over in an emergency maneuver situation.
"Stop selling this car, Jeep, in this specification," was the final call.
Consumer Reports, which is also famous for its roll-over test, popularized the story in the US.
The Grand Cherokee passed Consumer Reports' own roll-over test, which is less severe than the "moose test" by Teknikens Varld.
Responding to this accusation, Chrysler stated that Teknikens Varld overloaded the vehicle by about 110 pounds when they performed the test.
The international flair of this controversy increased when Germany's Auto Motor und Sport performed a "moose test" on the Grand Cherokee and declared that the vehicle is safe.
"The new Jeep Grand Cherokee does not roll over even at high speed, with sharp steering maneuvers, maximum passengers and fully loaded," the magazine stated.
Auto Motor und Sport also speculated that Teknikens Varld may have overloaded the vehicle.
One interesting aspect about Teknikens Varld's test was that the electronic stability control (ESC) of the Grand Cherokee did not engage while they were performing the emergency maneuver.
Slight programming tweaks for the ESC may end up being the solution to this entire controversy.
The U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Grand Cherokee with "Top Safety Pick" mark.
Most automotive experts in the US and in Germany would say that the new Grand Cherokee is one of the safest SUVs around.
There is no doubt that Chrysler engineers are working (with Teknikens Varld's folks, if the magazine is willing) to figure this out what happened during this "moose test".
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