The new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited four-door has been filmed tipping over in two crash tests conducted by a US safety body, prompting the US car giant to issue a statement defending the vehicle's safety record.
In two separate tests conducted by independent body the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the off-roader rolled onto its passenger side after striking the test barrier, resulting in the car receiving a 'marginal' rating in the 'driver-side small overlap front test', which replicates "what happens when the front left corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object".
In a statement, the IIHS said that while the Jeep Wrangler performed well in the other metrics used to evaluate safety performance, the partial rollover was "not an acceptable outcome for a frontal crash" and "presents an additional injury risk beyond what the standard criteria are intended to measure".
"Rollovers — even partial ones like those that occurred in the Wrangler tests — are especially dangerous crashes, in part due to the risk of complete or partial ejection," the IIHS said.
"This is a particular concern in the Wrangler, which has a roof and doors that can be removed. The Wrangler also lacks side curtain airbags designed to deploy in a rollover to keep occupants inside."
WATCH: The Jeep Wrangler tips over during US crash test
The IIHS said it conducted the second test after FCA queried the methods used in the first test, but both tests returned the same result.
In response, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the multinational company that owns the Jeep brand, issued a statement saying it would "continue to evaluate" the results of the IIHS test.
"While all of these results validated the vehicle’s structural integrity, we continue to evaluate them, as we do all third-party ratings. We routinely consider such third-party evaluations during our product-development processes," FCA said.
In a separate statement, FCA elaborated on the Wrangler's safety record, saying it had produced "more than 500,000 of these vehicles" that "by conservative estimate" had account for 6.7 billion miles of on-road driving.
"From this population, we are unaware of any incidents that correlate to the vehicle dynamic portion of the IIHS test result," FCA said. "With more than 75 available safety and security features, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited meets or exceeds all federal safety standards and continues to win acclaim from news organizations and consumer groups.
Above: The 2020 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
"FCA routinely monitors third-party evaluations and factors such findings into our product-development process. We design our vehicles for real-world performance. And real-world data, along with continuing demand, indicate the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited meets or exceeds customer expectations."
According to the IIHS test, the Wrangler earns good ratings in moderate overlap front, side, roof and head restraint evaluations and its optional vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system (also known as Autonomous Emergency Braking) earned a superior rating, while the off-roader earned "poor ratings" for both its base halogen headlights and its premium LED headlights.
In Australia, the four-door version of the Wrangler, the Unlimited, received a three-star ANCAP safety rating when it was tested in November 2019, and this rating also applies to two-door variants.
ANCAP awarded the SUV with a 60 per cent score for adult occupant protection, 80 per cent for child occupant protection, 49 per cent for vulnerable road user protection and 51 per cent for safety assist.
The Wrangler has dual frontal and combination side airbags, but no head-protecting side curtain airbags for the rear seats, and it offers autonomous emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring as standard from November 2019 onwards, but doesn't offer lane keep assist or emergency lane keeping.