Chrysler Recalls Pacifica Plug-in Hybrids

By · June 13, 2017


2017 Chrysler Pacific Plug-in Hybrid

Chrysler issued a voluntary recall this week of its 2017 Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid, the industry’s first minivan available as a conventional and plug-in hybrid. Sales of the model began in April of this year. Just three months later, the company received reports from customers about a loss of propulsion. The problem could increase the risk of an accident, although no incidents or injuries have been reported.

Owners can call 800-853-1403 for further details—or visit www.safercar.gov where they can check their vehicle identification number to learn more.

The Pacifica uses a 16 kilowatt-hour battery pack to provide 33 miles of all-electric range. The combined electric-plus-gas range is 570 miles. Its overall efficiency—84 miles-per-gallon-equivalent, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency—is a huge improvement over modern gas-only minivans, whose combined EPA ratings peak in the low-20-mpg range.

The recall is affecting approximately 1,700 vehicles—about 1,400 in the United States and 300 in Canada. This action follows reports from late November indicating that Chrysler faced delays in production—which takes place in Windsor, Ontario—that had delayed the first real deliveries of the vehicle from late 2016 until April 1017. (The 2018 model is expected to go on sale late this year.)

Multiple outlets are reporting that sales of the Pacifica Hybrid have been suspended until the recall and related repair work is conducted. The problem is apparently related to the vehicle’s hybrid electrical system or, more specifically, diodes on the battery. Some outlets indicate the problem is with the “battery core.” The remedy is not known at this time—although the media is reporting that all vehicles will be trucked back to the Windsor factory where they will get a software upgrade. It is not currently known when production and sales of the Pacifica Hybrid will resume.

Fiat-Chrysler has been ambivalent about producing plug-in electric vehicles. Sergio Marchionne, the company’s chief executive, has repeatedly complained that electric cars are money-losers. The company also produces the Fiat 500e, which is only sold in California, in keeping with government mandates.

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