A Sad Tale Of Two Dodge Vans

Regarding your article "The merger that can't get in gear," (American News, July 31), BUSINESS WEEK missed a major reason for slumping sales in the minivan market.

Seriously tempted by the $2,000 rebate offer, I made an effort to exchange my old reliable 1986 full-size Dodge van with 180,000 miles, no rust, no transmission problems, and no burning oil for one of the "fifth year" models. I thought that all the important bugs had been ironed out and I could count on many years of another reliable Chrysler product.

Unfortunately, the Net tells all secrets. Through some of the Web sites noted in previous BUSINESS WEEK issues, one can find what consumers really think about their vehicles. It appears that there are many unhappy Caravan owners because of transmission problems. As these types of problems are recurring and expensive, I unhappily walked away from an otherwise good deal.

Quality still counts. DaimlerChrysler should spend some time on this issue.

Marc Wilson

Jamaica Plain, Mass.

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