Why are 15-seat vans so dangerous?
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Twelve- and 15-seat vans were originally designed by Chrysler, Ford and General Motors as cargo vans. In the 1970s, the vans were extended in length and equipped with seats to meet a growing market demand for a vehicle that could carry more than 10 passengers.
Yet the design was never modified to include steel side plates, roof reinforcement or laminated windows, to protect passengers during a rollover or collision.
``They don't have the normal safety features of a family minivan,'' says U.S. lawyer and van safety expert Richard Gergel. ``The side of a 15-passenger van resembles more of a pickup truck.''
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