Tuesday, March 15, 2022 10:00 am
Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Recall
Los Angeles: Gayle Law Group PC’s statement concerning the March 4th recall announcement from Chrysler’s parent company, Stellantis concerning 2017-2018 Pacifica Hybrids. Gayle Law Group, PC is a prominent California Lemon Law law firm committed to the safety of California drivers.
An Immediate Problem
At least twelve 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids have caught fire while parked. In Canada, at least two caught on fire while being driven.
On Friday. March 4th, Chrysler’s parent company, Stellantis NV, announced a recall of just under 20,000 2017-2018 Pacifica Hybrids here in the United States.
Of the twelve cars that caught fire in the U.S., all of them were parked and off, eight were plugged in. Because of this, Chrysler is advising Pacifica Hybrid owners to “refrain from recharging them, and to park them away from structures and other vehicles.”
Chrysler also says that Pacifica Hybrid “owners can keep operating the vehicles using the internal combustion engine.” This hardly seems consistent with ‘park away from structures and other vehicles.’
It’s believed to be an issue with the battery but, as of today, no one knows what’s causing the fires. That, of course, means there is no ‘fix’ right now.
Simply, the vehicles have been recalled but they cannot be fixed. If it’s your car your options are take the chance of driving on gas power; park it on the street and wait; drop it off at the dealership and leave it there until Chrysler figures out the cause and designs a solution – if there is one.
The only sure thing with this is that it’s going to take a while to sort out. As we write, Chrysler says it has no idea what the problem is and is referring questions to the battery maker, LG Energy Solution – thereby clearly indicating they think it’s a battery related defect.
For its part, LG Energy Solution released a statement Friday reading: “There is no confirmed root cause of fires in the vehicles that is [sic] subject to the recall, or proof directly linking to the battery.”
It’s a mystery, one that doesn’t look like it is going to be solved soon, especially with Chrysler and LG playing the blame game early on. It should be noted, by the way, that the well-publicized recalls of 2017-2022 Chevy Bolts and 2019-2020 Hyundai Kona EV electric vehicles were also due to issues with batteries from LG Energy Solution.
If this news sounds familiar it’s only because it is: two years ago, Chrysler also recalled Pacifica hybrids due to a fire risk. Their advice then was to not plug the car in, keep the car away from the house and other vehicles, and – this is absolutely true – not let wet umbrellas or spilled drinks get on the floor of the second row.
That hazard was ‘most likely’ caused by the “corrosion of an electrical connection involving the system used to power auxiliary features, including radios and garage door openers.”
Just before that, some Pacifica Hybrids were recalled for another “fire issue related to the vehicle’s fuel system.”
Who knows, they may find a solution to the latest ‘fire hazard’ soon, though at this point we’re not sure how safe anyone would feel driving one of the afflicted models.
Owners of these vehicles have been through it the last few years. The minivans have undoubtedly spent more time at the dealer (presumably nowhere near the new cars) than in their driveways or on the road.
What’s more, the resale value of Pacificas has to be plummeting after multiple, highly publicized recalls – and at a time when used car prices are soaring.
Put all that together and Pacifica owners and lessees may well have excellent lemon law cases. They should pursue them as soon as possible, even while waiting for this latest ‘fix.’