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.