The North American based automaker Jeep was in the center of everyone’s attention during the latest Euro NCAP tests, where its 2012 Grand Cherokee model managed to score only four stars, less than urban models like the Volkswagen Up!, Skoda Citigo or Seat Mii.
According to the safety specialists at Euro NCAP, in the frontal impact test, the driver’s inboard seat rail was nearly broken in two and mainly held together only by the threaded steel rod which is controlling the fore-aft adjustment of the seat. Euro NCAP also said that despite the problem with the driver, the 18 month old dummy was well protected and in the same frontal impact, the three year old dummy didn’t move forward excessively, but the dummy’s head contacted the trim on the rear door pillar and the SUV lost some points because of this.
“The break occurred just at the point where the lower anchorage for the driver’s seat belt attaches to the rail, and is thought to have been caused by the high tensile forces in the belt during the test. As a result, there was additional forward movement of the dummy which contributed to bottoming out of the airbag i.e. there was insufficient pressure in the airbag to prevent the driver’s head from making contact, through the fabric of the airbag, with the steering wheel rim”, as Euro NCAP said in its official press release.
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee scored more points for its Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which is offered as standard equipment, but its four stars received at the latest Euro NCAP tests might reflect into less future buyers, especially families with children, who might turn to the small urban vehicles offered by Volkswagen.