WASHINGTON — Possible rear-seat defects in some Chrysler minivans are being investigated as the result of the death of a 2-year-old boy in a crash, a government spokesman said Friday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration probe was prompted in part by a coroner’s complaint that the seats were unsafe.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the consumers who buy this vehicle are unaware of the potential death trap that exists … when they place themselves, or their children, in the seat,” Farrell Jackson, coroner of Washington County, Pa., said in a letter to consumer activist Ralph Nader.
Chrysler spokesman Tom Jakobowski said the company was cooperating with the investigation.
“We have 2 million-plus minivans out there and we know of no specific problems with the rear seats,” Jakobowski said. The vans comply with federal standards for rear-seat strength, he said.
The government probe will focus on Dodge Caravans and Plymouth Voyagers manufactured in the 1986-89 model years, spokesman Tim Hurd said.