“Moose Test” failure based on overload?

A Swedish magazine’s claim that the Grand Cherokee failed its “moose avoidance test” was, according to Chrysler, based on conditions unlikely to be encountered by owners — an overloaded vehicle put under sudden stress. The result was then hyped as being deadly, with a large photo that was picked up by automotive blogs, resulting in publicity for the magazine.

Update: According to Gualberto Ranieri, Teknikens Värld’s driver, Ruben Börjesson, admitted to overloading the car by 110 pounds.

The situation seemed similar to the Consumer Reports affair with Isuzu, where a vehicle that had passed the magazine’s tests was retested to bring failure, with different testing equipment than competitors (outriggers which Isuzu charged were partly responsible for the results).

The magazine had published photos of the Grand Cherokee “on two wheels as it performed an extreme maneuver in an overloaded condition.” They also published a video, titled “Jeep Grand Cherokee lethal in evasive maneuver.”

Chrysler engineers tried to reproduce the wheel-lift in a properly loaded vehicle, but were unable to do so. The magazine conducted the test in the presence of Chrysler engineers, using three Grand Cherokees in eleven separate runs, and were unable to reproduce it, either, according to Chrysler.

Late today, the magazine responded to Chrysler, with Web Editor Mattias Rabe saying they had not overloaded the Grand Cherokee. They put in five people and used sandbags in the luggage compartment to bring it up to the maximum cargo weight, he wrote. He did not explain why the Grand Cherokee was only “lethal” (nobody was actually hurt in the test) during their televised, photographed test, and not in the eleven runs conducted in the presence of witnesses.

A “Top Safety Pick” of the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2012 Grand Cherokee has standard stability control and roll mitigation. Teknikens Värld has also indicted the Mercedes A-Class in 1997, the Toyota Hilux in 2007, and the Skoda Superb in 2010. (Thanks, Edgardo).

Originally posted on July 9, 2012, at 3:50 pm.

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Mopar pushes for authentic parts


Mopar has started a campaign to inform owners of their right to request authentic Mopar collision parts.  The “Right to Request” ad is on Mopar’s YouTube page and at www.mopar.com/collision.

Dealers and body shops are being sent guidebooks that show the superior fit, finish, performance, safety, and warranty coverage of OEM Mopar products.

Ross McGinnis, Vice President of Parts Sales and Field Operations,

Read the full story: Mopar pushes for authentic parts  »

FCA inventory under control


FCA has gotten inventory levels under control in the US, according to Automotive News.  The company has 73 days of stock, versus GM’s 79 days and Ford’s 80 days. It’s above any major import’s inventory, but the wide range of pickups tends to swell American lots.

As the car market drops, dealers have 19,900 Chrysler 200s and 16,500 Darts on their lots;

Read the full story: FCA inventory under control  »

Rendering the Grand Cherokee

DarkSky envisioned a somewhat Range Rover-influenced 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee, keeping roughly the same body shape but altering the front. This design makes the front end both more conventional and more aggressive, while separating it from the Cherokee and Compass alike.

This goes along, somewhat, with the photos recently seen on a Jeep display, assumed by many to be a Wagoneer. Once the size is corrected for,

Read the full story: Rendering the Grand Cherokee  »

Where are Wranglers sold?

2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude

The Jeep Wrangler is an American staple, but it’s sold around the world. Recently, as part of a recall, FCA revealed the sales distribution of the 2016-17 Wrangler.

The great bulk of vehicles — 182,743 — were sold or distributed to the United States. Around 10% of those, 18,011, were in Canada. Accounting for around 20% of the Canadian number were 3,087 in Mexico. Finally, 20,948 were sold outside North America — a bit over 10%.

Read the full story: Where are Wranglers sold?  »

Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?

The last few days have brought numerous photos to the fore; but which will we see?

The big truck-based Wagoneer, so far as it’s based on the photos above, seems least likely, at least in that form. Looking at it after the two images were set to the same scale, you can see that the “new Jeep” is likely closely based on the Grand Cherokee, which is in line with past company statements.

Read the full story: Which Rams and Jeeps will we see?  »

Mopar pushes for authentic parts
FCA inventory under control

Rendering the Grand Cherokee
2015 Jeep Wrangler Altitude
Where are Wranglers sold?

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