For the second time in two years, the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is being recalled for catching on fire spontaneously. Back in 2018, Fiat Chrysler recalled over 10,000 of the hybrid vans for fire potential. Now, Fiat Chrysler is recalling almost 25,000 of the Pacifica hybrid vans for a tendency to catch on fire. The two are completely separate issues with the same bad result. Here’s what we know.
The first recall in 2018 was for unburned fuel that was pumped into the catalytic converter with the potential to ignite. This would happen when the gas engine did not start properly after switching over from electric-only mode. The recall was stacked onto another for the van due to a faulty diode that caused stalling. It affected 2017 and 2018 Pacifica Hybrids.
Hybrid vans would spontaneously catch on fire due to bad battery connections
The latest recall issued today by Fiat Chrysler came as a result of several incidents that occurred in Canada and Minnesota including one injury. Apparently, the hybrid vans would spontaneously catch on fire. This was due to bad connections to the 12-volt battery that powers things like the radio and garage-door opener.
Only hybrid vans made from 2017 to 2020 are affected. No gas-powered vans are involved. The only battery involved is the accessory 12-volt battery, not the high-voltage battery or the electrified propulsion system. The total number being recalled is 27,634 Pacifica vans.
Fiat Chrysler told Motorbiscuit, “An interim remedy will be available via interim recall notice. If our ongoing investigation proves a different remedy is required, a final notice will be sent to provide the final remedy.”
Once owners are notified they should head over to a dealer for inspection. The dealers will either tighten the connection, repair it, or replace it. Since it has the possibility of catching on fire anytime and anywhere Fiat Chrysler is advising all owners not to park the van in an enclosed structure or by other vehicles.
“Customers should avoid parking their vehicles inside buildings or structures”
From the recall, “In the interim, FCA recommends – out of an abundance of caution – that customers avoid parking their vehicles inside buildings or structures. In addition, FCA advises customers not to park near other vehicles, or place wet items or liquids that may spill in the second-row seating area.”
With the potential for the Fiat Chrysler van to ignite is not comforting news. Not only is this recall in effect but Fiat Chrysler is saying owners could potentially have to bring affected vehicles in for repair more than once if their investigation shows a different solution is required. “Subject to the results of ongoing tests by FCA, all affected customers may receive a second notice to schedule additional dealer service,” the recall statement says. “Vehicles held by dealers will be remedied accordingly and then returned to their owners.”
Fiat Chrysler told Motor Biscuit, “This is consistent with U.S. recall protocol. In cases where final remedies are unavailable, an interim notification may advise of interim actions.”
You can enter your VIN numbers into the Fiat Chrysler recall site to determine if your Pacifica van is affected after June 16.