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March 15, 1999 Contact: Tim Hurd

Tel. No. (202) 366-9550


General Motors Corporation

Chevrolet Astro Years: 1996-1998
GMC Safari Years: 1996-1998

Number Involved: 2,090
Dates of Manufacture:  May 1996 - September 1997
Defect:  This recall involves minivans equipped with integrated child seats. Some of these vehicles may be missing a seat belt retractor clutch spring and/or pawl spring in the child seat. If the clutch spring was missing, the seat belt would lock in the retracted position and could not be used. If the pawl spring was missing, the seat belt restraint would continually play out and not lock. These conditions could increase the occupant's risk of injury in the event of a vehicle crash.

Remedy: Dealers will inspect the seat belts on the child seats, and if necessary, replace the child seat. Owner notification began Jan. 21, 1999. Owners who do not receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020 or GMC at 1-800-462-8782.

[NHTSA Recall No. 99V009/GM Recall No. 98071]

NHTSA said it is publicizing the recalls to alert consumers about safety problems and encourages them to take action. Under federal law, safety problems must be remedied without cost to consumers. Currently, 70 percent of the owners of vehicles with safety problems have the recall work performed.

NHTSA said manufacturers are required to mail a recall notice to all purchasers, owners and dealers when a safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards is found. The agency urges owners to wait until they receive notification from the manufacturer before contacting their dealers to schedule the repair work. Not all vehicles of a particular make and model may be subject to the recall.