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New Chrysler Pacifica earns Top Safety Pick Plus status [Video]

The rating only applies to units built after August.

The all-new Chrysler Pacifica has earned Top Safety Pick Plus status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The IIHS includes a bit of fine print with its rating, as the minivan initially earned a 'marginal score in the small-overlap test. The impact scenario has proved difficult for vehicles that were not yet redesigned before the test was introduced in 2012, however anything below 'good' is unusual for an entirely new model and disqualifies the vehicle from TSP status.

"In the Pacifica's initial small overlap test, before those improvements were made, the door was torn from its hinges and came open at the front," the institute said in a statement. "Doors should never open in a crash because occupants could be ejected as a result."

The company quickly tweaked the structure with additional reinforcement at the upper hinge and the joint between the hinge pillar and inner body panel. In the second test, the door remained attached and the results proved 'good' news.

The Pacifica replaces the Town & Country, which had received a 'poor' rating in the small-overlap test with "severe intrusion into the driver space."

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