US safety regulators reportedly said on Monday they were able to complete rollover tests on the 2004 Saturn VUE after General Motors strengthened the sport utility’s suspension system, which had collapsed in previous road tests.

Together, the revamped two- and four-wheel-drive models posted an average overall score on the government’s five-star rating scale even though both tipped up during test-track manoeuvres that involved sharp turns, Reuters said.

Both vehicles have roughly a 20% chance of rolling in a single-vehicle crash, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reportedly found.

The agency bases its rollover risk analysis on test track results and a mathematical calculation of vehicle measurements, the report said, adding that, as a class, SUVs are much more prone to roll than passenger cars.

According to Reuters, in June, the left rear wheel on two VUEs collapsed during tests, prompting a voluntary recall of more than 240,000 2002-2004 vehicles. Most of those vehicles are in the United States.

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Saturn, a unit of GM, installed stronger suspension components on new VUE models before a second round of rollover tests was completed this month, the report said.

General Motors, like other manufacturers, reportedly was critical of the government’s rollover risk analysis.

While technically valid, GM said in a statement that NHTSA’s road test manoeuvre for rollover was “extremely severe and unnatural.”

“NHTSA and other auto safety experts have long recognised that rollover crashes are the result of complex interactions of driver, environmental, and vehicle factors,” the company said, according to Reuters.

A spokeswoman for Saturn told the news agency GM has replaced two major suspension components with stronger parts in the newest VUEs – vehicles being recalled will have the same work performed but there is no deadline for completing the job.

“We’re still assessing our parts availability and what suppliers can do,” Saturn spokeswoman Sherrie Childers-Arb told Reuters.