European automakers know that there is only one thing that is worse than Teknikens Värld fabled moose test, and that is failing the moose test and then arguing with the Swedish magazine. Italy-owned Chrysler is getting that education. Not enough that Teknikens Värld found the Jeep Grand Cherokee “lethal in evasive maneuver.”
It now caught Chrysler’s propaganda arm committing a deadly sin in the hoopla business, violating the first commandment of flackery: When you stepped in the shit, don’t walk around the house.
After “the Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 3.0 CRD V6 tipped up on two wheels and was close to rolling over in the Teknikens Värld moose test, despite having packed the car in accordance to Jeep’s specifications,” Chrysler lashed out against the magazine, calling the report “definitely “set up,” which is nothing short of criminal.” Chrysler says the vehicle was overloaded by 110 lbs, a claim many overworked and underpaid web editor swallowed and printed.
Not true, says Teknikens Värld. In a spirited retort that may get more traffic than the original story, and Chrysler in trouble with the authorities, Teknikens Värld editor Mattias Rabe writes:
“Prior to the moose test we packed the car with four passengers and sandbags with a combined weight of 602 kilos (1 327 lbs) which is the maximum amount according to the cars certificate of registration that has been provided by Jeep/Chrysler to the Swedish Transport Agency, Transportstyrelsen. We proceeded to our test track to conduct the moose test. We immediately noticed that there was something strange about the car’s behavior – it tended to tip over on two wheels even at low speeds. We accordingly unloaded 100 kilos (220 lbs) out of the car so that the total cargo weight now registered at 502 kilos (1 106 lbs), 100 kilos under Jeep/Chryslers own registered maximum cargo weight. When we hit the track once again – now at the, for the type of vehicle, low speed of 63.5 km/h (39.5 mph) – the car went up on to two wheels and nearly rolled over.”
Not enough that the Grand Cherokee failed the moose test, something that can seriously impede a car’s career in Europe (ask Daimler about the A-class.) Not enough that Chrysler’s public remarks will have attracted the attention of even the laziest lawyer. Spurned Teknikens Värld now alleges that Chrysler supplied wrong information to the Swedish government, saying that the car weighs “a full 158 kilos (348 lbs) more than what Jeep/Chrysler claims the car to weigh in the official documentation provided to Swedish authorities.”
Sweden is a member of the EU, the EU has Whole Vehicle Type Approval (a car legal in one EU state is legal in all,) and providing wrong information to one government quickly can turn into a pan-European mess.
Chrysler’s reaction, including the recommendation that Teknikens Värld editors take “phosphorous tablets, “a well-known supplement to support brain and memory” is mean spirited , and it is guaranteed to produce lots of bad PR.
Some may notice that the tires are in a perilous state on that picture. Teknikens Värld says the moose test was “conducted with the correct tire pressure for maximum load according to the recommendations provided by Jeep/Chrysler via a sticker on the car’s B-pillar.”