CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ A $262.5 million judgment against Chrysler Corp. was intended to ensure the automaker repairs liftgate latches on minivans still on the road, a juror said Thursday.

``We wanted a punitive award that would make them fix all the vans out there that are broken,'' said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The verdict, returned Wednesday in a suit stemming from the death of a 6-year-old boy thrown from a Dodge minivan in 1994, is believed to be the largest damage award ever against a U.S. automaker. It includes $250 million in punitive damages.

The family of Sergio Jimenez II sued, claiming a defective rear latch caused the boy to be thrown from the minivan.

The juror said the panel did not deliberate long in finding actual damages, but that the punitive damages took more soul-searching.

``That was the toughest part of the whole case,'' said the woman, a 48-year-old sales assistant.

Juror Bryan Smythe agreed the panel wanted to prompt latch repairs but would not comment further.

Two other jurors refused to discuss the case, three have unpublished numbers and the other three did not return phone messages.

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

Highway safety advocates have criticized the agency for allowing Chrysler to repair the vans under a less-strict ``service campaign'' rather than an official recall.

Government records in February showed fewer than half the rear latches on 4.1 million Chrysler minivans were replaced during the first 15 months of the repair campaign.

The jurors, who included, among others, a homemaker, an engineer, a sales clerk and a student, returned the verdict in a state not known for large jury awards. They deliberated about three hours after a monthlong trial.

Chrysler lawyers said they expect U.S. District Judge Falcon Hawkins to grant their request for a new trial. If that does not work, they said they will appeal.

``We respect the jury's verdict, but we think they were wrong,'' said Chrysler lawyer Wade Logan. ``We think the vehicle is safe, one of the safest vehicles on the road.''

In trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, Chrysler's stock rose 43 3/4 cents per share to close at $34.43 3/4.