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NHTSA CONTINUES TO MONITOR CHRYSLER HATCH LATCH REPLACEMENT RATES IN OLDER VEHICLES

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager, Chrysler Town & Country

NHTSA CONTINUES TO MONITOR CHRYSLER HATCH LATCH REPLACEMENT RATES IN OLDER VEHICLES

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
February 10, 1997

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 10, 1997
NHTSA 8-97
Contact:  Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550

Although overall progress is good on the repair campaign under which 1984-1995 Chrysler minivans can receive a stronger, safer rear liftgate latch, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to urge owners of the minivans to have their latches replaced.

Minivan owners who have not yet responded to notices that a stronger, safer latch is available at their dealerships should have the work performed," said NHTSA Administrator Ricardo Martinez, M.D. "We are especially concerned that the response rate is low for older models. The replacement is free and provides a rear latch that is less likely to open in a crash."

Dr. Martinez said that the repair campaign began in September 1995 on a phased-in basis. The completion rate for the newer model vehicles is high -- 72 percent of the 1993-95 models with the remote latch release feature and 62 percent of the 1993-95 models with a manual latch release have had new latches installed. However only about 29 percent of the 1984-89 minivans without the remote release feature and 20 percent of the 1984-89 minivans with the remote release feature have had new latches installed.

At NHTSA s insistence, Chrysler made a commitment to undertake a number of measures to encourage owners to bring the vehicles to their dealer for repairs. This included follow-up owner notification letters, phone calls and advertising. These activities will continue in an effort to boost the completion rate for the older vehicles.



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