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Chrysler Group Announces Product Improvement Action on 2001 Minivans (AKA RECALL)

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 31 The Chrysler Group will
conduct a product improvement action on 136,500 units of its 2001 model year
Chrysler Voyager and Town & Country minivans and Dodge Caravan and Grand
Caravan minivans.  The company will replace part of the lock mechanism on
vehicles equipped with key cylinders on the sliding doors, an issue that
affects only one-third of 2001 model year minivans.
    Minivans factory-equipped with Remote Keyless Entry (RKE), which make up
the vast majority of the 2001 vehicle population, are not affected by this
action.  An easy way to determine if a vehicle is affected by the improvement
action is the presence of a key hole on the sliding door handle.
    Crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) has shown that, under certain conditions, a severe side impact can
cause the key cylinder mechanism on the sliding doors to contact the door
release system.  This may cause the door to become ajar.
    As a result of these findings, the Chrysler Group has decided to
voluntarily contact customers and recommend that they bring in their vehicles
for the improvement action.  As of May 24, 2001, production has been modified
to encompass the improvement.  Customers will be notified by mail or they may
contact their dealers directly.  There will be no charge to the consumer.
    "This is an excellent example of how we can work together with NHTSA,"
said Bernard Robertson, Senior Vice President of Engineering Technologies and
Regulatory Affairs.  "Through their testing efforts they were able to identify
an issue.  We were then able to investigate their findings, identify the cause
and quickly create a fix.  In the end, the consumer is the winner."
    The Chrysler Group encourages drivers to check that vehicle occupants are
properly restrained at all times.