Chrysler Pacifica Owners Not Thrilled When Power Just Dies

Fiat Chrysler, dealers can't find what's causing stalling issue customers are complaining about
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2017 8:43 AM CST
Owners of Chrysler Minivan Say It Suddenly Shuts Off
Fiat Chrysler is trying to figure out what's going on with its Chrysler Pacifica minivans.   (Webb Bland/Courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles North America LLC via AP)

Minivans aren't exactly known for inspiring fear, but that's what's happening among Chrysler Pacifica owners, with more than 50 federal complaints filed about the vehicles suddenly stalling out while in use, leading to dangerous situations in which, luckily, no one has yet been injured. Dealers are scratching their heads—the minivans seem to work just fine when they're brought in—and consumer advocacy groups are calling for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to issue a recall, reports the New York Times. "I understand you have to find the source of the problem before you can fix it, but there's still a safety issue here," says a Virginia attorney whose 2017 Pacifica has petered out two times while his wife was behind the wheel.

Fiat Chrysler is also baffled as to what could be causing the minivans to stall out, and it has a sensitive landscape to navigate regarding the topic. The company was fined $105 million just two years ago for recall and repair issues for 11 million of its vehicles, and it also had a recent high-profile death on its watch: Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, who died last year after his Jeep Grand Cherokee, made by Fiat Chrysler, malfunctioned due to what a lawsuit says was a design flaw. It could also be concerning for the company on another front: Waymo's autonomous vehicle fleet is made up of Pacificas. A company spokesman, meanwhile, assures customers that the vehicle's airbags will still deploy even if the power dies—an important feature to note, as the Times points out that GM's faulty ignition switch rendered its own airbags useless, possibly contributing to more than 120 deaths. (More Chrysler stories.)

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