In February I received a letter from Chrysler stating that our 2017 Pacifica Hybrid was subject to another recall. Several of the minivans had inexplicably caught fire and, given the evidence, the automaker suspected it could be related to the high-voltage battery pack. The recall notice told us not to charge the vehicle or park it near a house or garage – or any other building, for that matter.
The solution? The company didn’t have one and couldn’t tell me when it might.
to have covered memories like this before“I thought we would be in it for the long haul. And I was right. A few days ago, nearly eight months after the recall was first issued, Chrysler’s parent company Stellantis said it had a solution. There would be a software update and dealers would inspect and replace suspected batteries.
Worryingly, the automaker still hasn’t figured out what started the dozen fires, but said the repairs would prevent them from happening.
Yes, I’m glad Chrysler and Stellantis have a remedy (which they are required by law to provide) that will (I hope) eliminate a very serious fire risk. Obviously, I’d prefer if the remedy were also accompanied by an explanation for the burns – I wouldn’t want to learn first-hand if the forthcoming solution doesn’t address the root cause. But Stellantis assured me that it has been validated to address the circumstances under which fires have occurred.
As the energy transition progresses there will be bumps in the road and I understand it is impossible to design a completely trouble free vehicle. But reminds that preventing EVs and plug-in hybrids from charging adds pollution. Perhaps there should be consequences to that.