After a Swedish magazine determined that the Jeep Grand Cherokee had failed its “moose test” (essentially, sudden swerves emulating the sighting and avoidance of a moose in the road), Chrysler accused the magazine of running the Grand Cherokee with more cargo weight than the listed capacity. A car failing the test provides a great deal of publicity to the magazine and allows them to run headlines insisting that the vehicle is “deadly” or “lethal.”
While the magazine claimed the test had been carried out properly, Chrysler representatives were told by a test driver that the Jeep was overloaded. The magazine denied it, but in subsequent tests was unable to get any Jeep Grand Cherokee to fail the test.
The German magazine Auto, Motor, und Sport (AMS) had already tested the Grand Cherokee and found that it passed the test without problems. The German magazine re-tested the Grand Cherokee after the Swedish test, using a test site sanctioned by the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC). Course dimensions and layout conformed to International Standards Organization (ISO) specifications.
The avoidance event included releasing the accelerator pedal, provoking a load shift. AMS reported, “Whether loaded with 2 people on board or with the maximum permissible total weight, all four wheels maintained contact with the ground to the greatest possible extent. The tested Jeep did not demonstrate one-sided uplift or, let alone, tipping. This confirms the theory that the Cherokee in Sweden was overloaded.”
The Jeep Grand Cherokee was listed as a “Top Safety Pick” by the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.