Chrysler has done it again. Another recall plagues this automaker with its Pacifica van. Just like a couple of years ago, the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica is experiencing a fire risk, which has already caused damage to some of these vehicles.
Unlike the previous fire hazard, this one doesn’t involve the fuel system. It does, however, involve a 12-volt battery installed behind the driver’s seat. Car and Driver explains what the problem is, what caused it, and what you can do about it.
What’s the problem with the Chrysler Pacifica?
Specific models of the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid have a serious fire hazard risk. Hybrid versions are the only ones affected by this problem. The issue stems from a problem with the 12-volt accessory battery installed in the van.
This battery powers components like the radio, or a remote garage door opener. Chrysler says, according to Consumer Reports, that less than 10 fires have occurred so far, and only one of them resulted in minor injury.
As of right now, the fires affected vans sold in Canada except for one. The remaining fire, reported, was in a van located in Minnesota. Most of the vehicles had the fire break out while they had the vehicle parked. Two of them happened while it was in motion, but the drivers noticed the smoke before a fire broke out.
What’s causing it?
While it’s still under investigation, Chrysler feels that the issue stems from corrosion on the battery’s connection. This increases the risk of a major fire occurring inside the van where the battery is located.
Currently, over 27,000 hybrid vans fall under this recall. Chrysler service departments will assess each situation to determine if there is corrosion on the connectors. If there is, the van will need to stay in their possession while they safely and properly repair the problem.
In the event the hybrid van doesn’t have corrosion on the connectors, the technicians will make sure the connections are clean and tight. Once they’re satisfied that everything looks good, they’ll release the vehicle back to the owner.
During the week of June 22nd, a recall notice will go out through the mail service to owners of the affected hybrid vans who need to have their Pacificas checked out. You can also look up your vehicle’s VIN number to determine if your van’s under the recall.
What you need to know
The fire risk does not affect the higher voltage batteries that power the main components of the vehicle. It also does not include the gas-powered vans. The recall is only for the hybrid versions.
Chrysler states that until technicians have completed the repair, you should not park it in any kind of structure, like a garage, especially if it’s connected to a home. If a fire breaks out, it could spread to other structures as well.
Also, they ask that we keep all fluids away from the second row in the van. Accidental spilling of liquid could increase your chances of the battery’s connectors getting corroded, thereby increasing the chance of a fire.
If you receive a recall notice, or if you know you have a Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid from the years 2017-2020, be sure to have it looked at right away. It’s imperative that you don’t delay the repair for too long.
Chrysler hasn’t had very good luck with their Pacificas since this isn’t the only recall they’ve had involving fire. Their 2017 and 2018 models also had a fire scare involving the vehicle’s fuel system. It just might be time for them to do a whole new redesign to avoid any more serious problems in the future.