Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Fire Recall Sends Owner to Court

At least 12 fires in the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles cause the Chrysler class action lawsuit.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Fire Recall Sends Owner to Court

Posted in News

— A Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid fire recall has caused a class action lawsuit over fires in the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

The lawsuit alleges Fiat Chrysler failed to tell consumers how 2017-2018 Pacifica Hybrid minivans could "explode and catch fire" with no known cause of the fires and no idea how to prevent them.

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid class action lawsuit was filed by California plaintiff Scott A. Olsen who purchased a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica PHEV in February 2018. The plaintiff doesn't allege his minivan suffered any problems, but he "has been left with a vehicle that could catch fire at any second."

In February, Chrysler recalled more than 16,000 model year 2017-2018 Pacifica Hybrid minivans in the U.S. but admitted a cause for the fires was unknown.

Owners were warned to park away from anything that could catch fire, and minivan owners were warned not to even charge the Pacifica Hybrids.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid fire recall documents filed with the government said the automaker discovered the problem during an internal investigation of Pacifica Hybrid fires that occurred with the minivans shut off.

Eight of the fires occurred while the Pacifica Hybrids were being charged, but Chrysler said no crashes or injuries had been reported.

A separate Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid fire recall also was issued in 2020 for 2017-2020 Chrysler minivans with 12-volt batteries used to power auxiliary systems like the radios and remote control garage door openers. Chrysler said one fire had been reported in the U.S. due to corrosion of the 12-volt battery connection.

More than 27,000 Pacifica Hybrid owners were told to park outside and away from other vehicles until recall repairs were complete, repairs that had dealerships installing gaskets under the 12-volt battery isolators.

Although Chrysler hasn't announced how the minivans will be repaired in this most recent recall, the Pacifica Hybrid class action lawsuit alleges the recall is not adequate to protect owners.

Additionally, the plaintiff claims the "so-called 'fix' leaves consumers with a vehicle that is nearly useless and at risk of immediate fire—resulting in harm to Class Vehicle owners and lessees."

Owners and lessees of 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans have allegedly been "deprived the benefit of their bargain in purchasing or leasing their Class Vehicles. Further, Plaintiff and Class Members suffered an ascertainable loss of money, property, and/or value of their Class Vehicles."

Even though a class action lawsuit can take years in court, the plaintiff says he filed the lawsuit "because Chrysler needs to take responsibility for the unsafe minivans today — not next week — not a month from now — today. It is a matter of public safety.”

The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid fire lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California: Scott A. Olsen, v. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) US, LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP.