October 08, 2004

Today in Automotive History 1997

Today in Automotive History

1997 Recall Costs Chrysler Millions

A Federal jury ordered Chrysler to hand over $260 million to the Jiminez family, whose son, Sergei, was killed after being jettisoned from the third seat of a Chrysler minivan. The accident happened in 1987 when the Jiminez's Dodge Caravan was hit by another vehicle travelling along at just five miles per hour. During the impact, the minivan's rear liftgate malfunctioned, and the back door flew open, allowing the boy to be ejected on to the pavement. Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. The Federal government reported that between 1984 and 1994, thirty-seven deaths could be traced to faulty liftgate latches on Chrysler's minivans. The automaker was hit with 100 lawsuits related to the faulty liftgate, but the government still held off on mandating a recall of the latches. A day before the ruling, however, Chrysler recalled 1.1 million minivans, a decision estimated to have cost the car giant roughly $30 million. Surprisingly, this move, coupled with anticipation of the Federal jury's decision against Chrysler, caused just a small decline in Chrysler's stock, which closed on October 7 at 34 15/16, following a 3/16 drop.

Posted by Quality Weenie at October 8, 2004 06:37 AM