Jeep Grand Cherokee Struggled in Swerve Test: Consumer Reports

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

Consumer Reports is, to an extent, corroborating Swedish magazine Teknikens Varld‘s accusations that the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a rollover hazard.

The group isn’t outright agreeing with the results, but it weighed in on the issue today and discussed the results of a similar test it conducted on the 2011 model. In the Consumer Reports test, vehicles are also taken through a double lane change maneuver meant to simulate swerving away from an object then back into the original lane, though their test is “less severe” in key areas.

While Consumer Reports didn’t experience the tires lifting or separating from the rims like Teknikens Varld did, the group’s 2011 report noted that the V6 equipped Laredo “hopped and skipped sideways.” The “Limited” trim level with a V8 didn’t have the same issues.

After noticing the issue, the group reported its findings to Jeep, prompting recalibrated stability control and a software update that reportedly fixed the problem.

That leaves one question: in what ways was Consumer Reports easier on the Jeep than Teknikens Varld? As it happens, very important ways that might prove the Swedish magazine isn’t as crazy as Chrysler wants everyone to believe.

First, the test is run on a longer course with less steering wheel play and therefore a lower chance for a rollover. Second, they only run with a driver and full tank of gas, rather than the full passenger load and the sand bags the Swedes use to test maximum capacity.

Chrysler’s changes to the 2011 Grand Cherokee suggest that there was a problem with the car — probably one it thought was fixed. And it’s true that those fixes helped it to pass the less extreme Consumer Reports tests.

AutoGuide has been in contact with Jeep over the course of the week, but this is the first time the automaker was unable to provide any new comment.

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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