Autocar test reveals unusual problem with 4x4's ESP system, confirmed by Suzuki, but no recall is currently planned
Richard Bremner Autocar
21 December 2018

An ESP stability control fault affecting the the new Suzuki Jimny will not yet be the subject of a recall or delay UK deliveries, despite being confirmed by the Japanese brand.

Autocar uncovered the issue with the second-generation small 4x4, which goes on sale in the UK in January, during test drives for the World Car of the Year awards in California. On two test cars the Electronic Stability Programme caused disturbing on-road behaviour in specific circumstances. 

During certain cornering conditions the Jimny's ESP system brakes an individual front wheel as if to correct a skid that isn’t actually occurring. The effect is to cause the car to rock from side-to-side, as the front spring of the braked wheel compresses and expands with the pulsing intervention of the ESP.  The condition can also affect one of the rear wheels.

Chief Jimny programme engineer Hiroyuki Yonezawa attended the event with Autocar, alongside an Australian journalist, and experienced the same issue once it had been demonstrated. Two test cars were provided, both exhibiting the same behaviour.

Suzuki says that this behaviour has not previously appeared during Suzuki’s development testing, which included UK roads, or during the international launch event in Germany. Autocar’s own UK road test did not trigger the problem either.

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Once alerted, Suzuki immediately despatched additional engineers to the Angeles Crest Highway near Pasadena, California, to investigate. They were able to replicate the behaviour, but have not been able to reproduce it at the company’s test facility in Japan.

In a statement, Suzuki has said that "the continuous activation" of stability control occurred "when a specific road condition, tilt angle in the road, incline and slope, and degree of the curve was combined with a certain level of speed."

"There is a possibility that the (stability control) is instantaneously switched on (by) reacting to the vehicle sway when departing the S-shaped curve - and then consecutively switches on because the vehicle is circling the curve at high speeds."

During this reporter’s test of the car, with chief engineer Yonezawa aboard, the Jimny was driven briskly not only on the particular incline and bend sequence that triggered the behavior, but along an eight mile stretch of the Angeles Crest Highway. On this longer section the nearside front wheel occasionally braked, as did the offside rear wheel.

Suzuki has also said that ‘the intervention of the stability control may give a sense of discomfort to the driver but is not an event that would disturb the vehicle’s direction of movement.’ This would reporter would agree that the vehicle’s direction of travel remains unaltered.

But the side-to-side rocking motion triggered by quick-repeat, single wheel brake interventions, which occurred only on one particular stretch of road taken at a speed higher than the (cautious) mandated limit, would probably alarm an inexperienced driver.

Suzuki says that it will "further analyse the event and carefully consider how to adjust the program while maintaining the Jimny’s performance balance. Therefore, we regret to say we are unable to inform you when exactly we will be able to implement any changes to the program at the moment."

Read more:

Suzuki Jimny waiting list now a year in the UK

2019 Suzuki Jimny: can the compact 4x4 beat a Toyota Land Cruiser

 

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Comments
17

21 December 2018

Well at least you know that they are investigating the problem, which, if I'm reading this correctly, is a bit of an alarming and unpleasant experience but not dangerous? 

21 December 2018

Try it on an icy road and find out how dangerous it is...

21 December 2018

I was looking at new Suzuki cars yesterday. This news puts me off buying a Suzuki car.

I don't like the way ESP overrides the driver's control inputs. Now I am even more concerned about the safety of ESP and other systems like autonomous braking.

Does this ESP flaw show itself in other Suzuki car models?

Could this ESP flaw cause the car to roll over if a driver has to suddenly swerve to avoid an accident?

Are there any other problems with Suzuki's ESP system?

22 December 2018
max1e6 wrote:

I was looking at new Suzuki cars yesterday. This news puts me off buying a Suzuki car.

I don't like the way ESP overrides the driver's control inputs. Now I am even more concerned about the safety of ESP and other systems like autonomous braking.

Does this ESP flaw show itself in other Suzuki car models?

Could this ESP flaw cause the car to roll over if a driver has to suddenly swerve to avoid an accident?

Are there any other problems with Suzuki's ESP system?

I am sure that once they find the fault they will rectify it with a recall, suzuki actually have a good history of dealing with these sort of things. And don't forget the description of how it happened, and how difficult it is to replicate anywhere but this particular road, it would appear that while the reviewer implies the roads speed limit is unnecessarily low, maybe he is completely wrong and the limit is there for just this reason?

21 December 2018

So Suzuki didn't learn anything from the Celerio fiasco? What kind of R&D experts does this automaker have and why are they still employed?

FMS

22 December 2018
rtwingo wrote:

So Suzuki didn't learn anything from the Celerio fiasco? What kind of R&D experts does this automaker have and why are they still employed?

 

Hey...did you manage to actually read and UNDERSTAND the whole article, before you posted that nonsense?.

21 December 2018

The problem did not show up during development and testing. It only arose on one stretch of road in california where the roll of the road, cornering and over speeding were put into the equation and were not easily performed ( read the full report).

As for the celerio, problem located and sorted within 10 days including replacement item.

Unlike Renault Clio bonnet coming loose over windscreen, they still say no probs after 10 years.

Vauxhalls inferno Zafira. Still saying no problem.

Mercs A Class in the Elk test. How long did it take to replace the suspension and still say "what problem".

If a problem occurs Suzuki have it sorted within a few days not months or years like other manufacturers (what about VW diesel gate, still going on, how many years now).

This occurance was done by over sealous hacks and suzuki had engineers on site the same day.

Do you not remember Fords Pinto, the fuel tank was moved back outside the rear axle and in a small rear shunt the fuel tank split and fire engulfed the car, but they still continued to sell it without modification for years after.

Go back and have a trial in a Suzuki, you'll like what you see.

whiteliner

22 December 2018
whiteliner wrote:

The problem did not show up during development and testing. It only arose on one stretch of road in california where the roll of the road, cornering and over speeding were put into the equation and were not easily performed ( read the full report).

As for the celerio, problem located and sorted within 10 days including replacement item.

Unlike Renault Clio bonnet coming loose over windscreen, they still say no probs after 10 years.

Vauxhalls inferno Zafira. Still saying no problem.

Mercs A Class in the Elk test. How long did it take to replace the suspension and still say "what problem".

If a problem occurs Suzuki have it sorted within a few days not months or years like other manufacturers (what about VW diesel gate, still going on, how many years now).

This occurance was done by over sealous hacks and suzuki had engineers on site the same day.

Do you not remember Fords Pinto, the fuel tank was moved back outside the rear axle and in a small rear shunt the fuel tank split and fire engulfed the car, but they still continued to sell it without modification for years after.

Go back and have a trial in a Suzuki, you'll like what you see.

Exactly mate, Suzuki have acted, and will sort out the problem, they didnt deny there was a problem, unlike some manufacturers, you also forgot to mention the current VW Polo and its sister vehicles with dodgy rear seatbelts that are still on sale, with the advice, dont use the middle seat. The same Polo that still has a 5 star NCap rating, and has been labelled a game changer in city car safety. 

21 December 2018

calm down!

 

also, every vehicle is dangerous on an icy road!

21 December 2018

Whats the big deal?

They@ll put it right unlike JLR and Benz products

Hysterical over-reaction on this site

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