Anyone who owns or leases a 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica that shuts off or stalls while being driven.
What’s Going On?
Fiat Chrysler has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that a defect in the cars’ transmissions is causing them to turn off during use.
Fiat Chrysler has been hit with a class action lawsuit alleging its 2017-2018 Pacifica minivans contain a design defect that causes them to shut off or stall without warning.
What Does the Lawsuit Say About the Minivans?
The case claims that the cars are shutting off and/or stalling because of a design defect in their 9-speed transmission. According to the suit, the transmissions have been “plagued by consumer complaints” since their introduction and have even been the center of a number of technical service bulletins.
The lawsuit alleges that the defect causes a total loss of power, resulting in the inability to change speed or steer, often while the car is in traffic and traveling at high speeds. The alleged defect, the case says, is “widespread,” “dangerous,” and “manifests without warning.”
How Could a Lawsuit Help?
If successful, a class action lawsuit could require Chrysler to:
Notify all affected drivers about the alleged issue
Repair the cars
Stop selling the cars until it warns about the alleged defect
Change the cars’ warranties
Were the Pacificas Recalled Over the Reported Stalling Issue?
Yes. In January 2018, Fiat Chrysler voluntarily recalled more than 150,000 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans to “update certain software.” According to the recall notice, the cars’ engine control modules could “incorrectly assess the engine’s operating status,” potentially causing the engine to stall.
The recall follows pressure from The Center for Auto Safety, a consumer advocacy group, that petitioned the cars be recalled due to the “unreasonable risk” that they pose to the public. According to their petition, which was filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 50 individuals have reported that their 2017 Pacifica minivans have “lost all motive power without warning…at varying speeds, ranging from while the vehicle has been sitting idle to traveling at 40 mph on municipal roads, to 60 miles per hour while driving in a tunnel.”
The recall does not affect 2018 models of the vehicle or hybrid versions; however, attorneys working with ClassAction.org would still like to hear from people with other model year Pacificas as they believe the reported stalling problem may not be not limited to 2017 models.
What Problems Are Drivers Reporting?
The following is a sample of complaints [sic throughout] from Chrysler Pacifica drivers taken from a lawsuit filed in California.
“I was driving on a highway (with my kids in the backseats) and suddenly (for no reason) the vehicle lost all electricity (including, power steering, engine, headlights, dashboard lighting). The dashboard only said ‘put car into park and restart’…This was a scary and dangerous experience.” — NHTSA ID 11011729
“My wife stopped at an intersection and the car completely shutoff…it happened within two weeks of purchasing the vehicle, around 300 miles driven…I contacted Chrysler and they said they would need to reproduce it so wait until it happened again…it appears they are waiting for someone to die to deal with the issue.” — NHTSA ID 11051158
“Not even an hour after leaving the dealership the vehicle stalled, losing all power, and had to be restarted to regain power and driving ability at a stop light. We were not hit, but it is very dangerous to have a vehicle that stalls randomly.” — NHTSA ID 11056049
“My pacifica's engine turned off WHILE I WAS MOVING. I had no warning, just that it stopped accelerating and the screen said that car must be in park to put it in drive. Thankfully I had just turned onto a residential street, however, due to the steering being electronic, I had lost the power steering. I had to coast to a stop, then put it in park and press the on button with foot on brake like normal starting…I am not sure what to do at this point, I'm really nervous about driving it. The tech couldn't tell me anything. I didn't have any warning, and nothing weird happened with the vehicle before the shut off of the engine.” — laprincipessa, Pacificaforums.com
“Purchased a brand new Chrysler Pacifica vehicle 3 wks ago on may 18 2017…May 21 was the first incident on the interstate in chicago we stalled in the middle of traffic for approximately 10 minutes. May 27 we pulled up to a stoplight and the engine stalled out on us that lasted approximately 3 minutes, the same day at a tollbooth we stalled out which lasted about 25 minutes before the car would start again…May 30 we left the grocery store the screen switch to the app page and would not switch back, the brakes locked and we lost engine power. That lasted 20 mins before car would start. June 7 car would not start after coming out of the grocery store waited 20 minutes then tried again car started 30 seconds after the ignition button has been pressed by itself. June 11 car stalled out pulling into the driveway. Took less then a minute to restart this time. We have taken the car into the dealer and the could find nothing and could not replicate…I am so upset and disappointed in this Chrysler product.” — CarProblemZoo.com
If your Chrysler Pacifica stalled or shut off unexpectedly, you may be able to join in on litigation against the automaker.