AUTOS

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ex-Chrysler Worker Makes Claim Against Auto Maker: Company executives rejected making safety-related changes in the auto maker's restyled 1996 minivans over fears the move would hurt the firm in lawsuits, says Paul Sheridan, a fired product planner. He is suing the Detroit-based Chrysler Corp. for firing him in violation of Michigan's whistle-blower laws. Sheridan also charges Chrysler resisted his recommendation for strengthened seats and rear-door latches because such changes could sway a federal probe into the safety of 1984-94 minivans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating. Chrysler says its minivans are safe and meet government standards.

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