In the latest episode of the Jeep Grand Cherokee saga, the Swedes at Teknikens Värld have released new video footage of the subsequent tests that were performed after the SUV failed the infamous moose test.
Following a second test with a different Grand Cherokee that produced similar results, the Swedish magazine summoned a group of Chrysler engineers who insisted that the car be loaded with 470kg (1,037 lbs) or 132kg (291 lbs) less than Jeep/Chrysler’s own registered maximum payload of 602kg (1,327 lbs).
The magazine pointed out that with a driver and four adult passengers, there’s “hardly any margin for luggage” if they adhered to Jeep’s 470kg payload demand but agreed to do the test nevertheless.
We should note here that in the previous moose tests the Grand Cherokee failed, Teknikens Värld packed the car with four passengers and sandbags with a combined weight of 602kg (1,327 lbs) as well as 502 kg (1 106 lbs).
Even though the Grand Cherokee Overland 3.0 CRD V6 was less prone to flipping over with the significantly lighter payload, it still exhibited dangerous handling in the moose test at a speed of 69 to 70km/h (43.5mph), while the magazine said that in the presence of Chrysler representatives, the front tires popped seven times in three different cars.
Chrysler’s official line is that Teknikens Värld overloaded the car, something that the magazine denies citing the car’s certificate of registration at the Swedish Transport Agency “Transportstyrelsen”, while the automaker has not yet addressed the fact that the tires pried off the rims in the tests performed in front of its engineers.
When a reader asked about the tires coming off the rims on the Detroit automaker’s official blog, Chrysler Group LLC Editorial Director-Online Media Mike Driehorst gave this response:
"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."
So putting aside the debate on the maximum payload weight, Chrysler has still not explained why the Jeep’s wheels popped during the tests that were performed in front of its own engineering team.