RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There is a consumer alert about two popular vehicles that have major problems discovered during testing by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
The problems were uncovered during routine tests conducted in the Institute’s crash test lab and were concerning enough that they wanted to get the word out now.
We’ve seen crash test videos countless times from the IIHS but we’ve never seen something so dramatic as a 2022 Jeep Wrangler flipping on its side during a front overlap crash test.
This was the second time the Wrangler did that in an IIHS test.
“We don’t like to see vehicles fall over during a front crash test,” said IIHS Senior Vice President of Vehicle Research David Zuby.
The first time it happened the IIHS was testing a 2019 model Wrangler and it flipped on its side.
The automaker blamed the way the vehicle was attached to the IIHS crash machine for the flip over.
“We tied it down to the crash machine the way they recommended and got the same result,” said Zuby.
Following that, he said Jeep engineers made some changes they thought would keep the vehicle on its feet in this kind of crash.
“We tested the vehicle with those changes and got the same results,” said Zuby.
The automaker said it “is reviewing this latest result but we engineer our vehicles for real-world performance.”
The Wrangler’s never tipped over during its private tests, according to the automaker.
Despite the Wrangler doing well in other safety tests in the IIHS lab, Zuby said, “We are not going to recommend a vehicle that falls over onto its side following a frontal crash test.”
Toyota’s extended cab pick-up truck also ran into trouble during tests.
In 2021, the Institute tested the Tacoma Extended cab pickup and found its crash tests led to a fuel leak.
“Leaf springs punctured the gas tank,” said Zuby
A redesign fixed the fuel leak problem, but another safety issue cropped up with the structural integrity of the right side of the passenger compartment.
“The door collapsed inward toward the dummy and the footwell and dashboard were moved back to where the driver was sitting.” said Zuby. “In addition, we saw the head contact the grab handle despite deployment of the airbag in a timely fashion.”
As a result of that, the IIHS gave the vehicle a marginal rating for its front overlap crash tests. This would apply to vehicles built after October of last year.
“People who want to make sure their passengers are well protected probably should not choose the Toyota Tacoma,” said Zuby.” There are other small pickup trucks with better ratings in this test.”