Chrysler Responds to Latest ‘Moose Test’ Accusations

Chrysler Responds to Latest ‘Moose Test’ Accusations

After a press release and a strongly-worded blog response by Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler’s senior vice president of communications, it seemed as thought the battle between the automaker and with Swedish publication Teknikens Varld was all but over — until the magazine published new claims that prompted the brand to issue another response.

Earlier today we brought you a story about a second article by the magazine which said that the SUV’s tires were pried from the wheels during seven of the 11 subsequent swerve tests supervised by Chrysler.

Unfortunately, the piece didn’t feature video footage or photo proof. Instead, the story featured a captured image from the original test where the vehicle was loaded beyond its weight capacity.

We’ve reached out to Teknikens Varld to ask if photos of the tests they described are available, but haven’t had a response yet.

In the blog post he published yesterday, Ranieri said “Chrysler Group was advised of the magazine’s “findings” only after its pages were printed. The offer was then made to include [its] reaction in the publication’s next edition.”

Based on the reaction we got after speaking to Chrysler this afternoon about the story, it doesn’t sound like those communication gaps were bridged this time either.

The company neither confirmed nor denied that the tires were pried off, but sent us this official statement.

“The Grand Cherokee is an award-winning SUV with an exemplary safety record. The magazine used an overloaded vehicle in its initial evaluation. Chrysler Group takes seriously any safety concerns and continues to analyze data from the second evaluation, but the wheel-lift seen in the first round did not reoccur.”

During a phone interview, a Chrysler representative told us that the company is still investigating what happened during the secondary tests. We’re expecting to hear more, though it isn’t clear when that will happen.
Amid our efforts to provide comprehensive coverage, we spoke with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which rated the same 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4 as this controversy hinges on with a four-star rollover rating. During that conversation, the representative reiterated that the SUV performed well in its tests.