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Chrysler Won’t Replace Minivan Latches Until September or Later

July 9, 1995

DETROIT (AP) _ Chrysler is pushing back its timetable for replacing rear door latches on 4.6 million minivans until at least September.

The automaker miscalculated how quickly it could get parts, spokesman Rick Deneau said Friday.

Minivan owners can begin making appointments Sept. 4 to get the work done, Chrysler said.

In April, Chrysler wrote owners in the United States and Canada to say that the latches would be replaced at no cost in a few months, when the company got parts.

Chrysler is replacing rear-hatch latches on 1984 through 1995 minivans because of fears the hatch could pop open in crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave Chrysler until July 14 to answer questions about the new latches and delays in replacing the old ones, said Kathy DeMeter, director of the agency’s Office of Defects Investigations.

At least 32 people have died when the liftgate opened on the Town and Country, Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager, the NHTSA said.

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