Many Chrysler Minivan Latches Going Unfixed

FRIDAY, NOV. 15, 1996

Highway safety officials said Thursday they were concerned that too few owners of older Chrysler Corp. minivans were having the rear liftgate latch replaced with a stronger one.

At least 37 people died in accidents in which they were ejected when liftgates opened on Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Caravan or Plymouth Voyager minivans sold from 1984 through 1995, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

For about a year, Chrysler has been replacing the latches. About 4.1 million minivans have the latches and at least one written notice has been mailed to all minivan owners.

But only 39 percent of minivan owners have had the latch replaced, according to Chrysler’s quarterly report to the government released this week.

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