Owners of recalled Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans are being instructed to park their vehicles outside, after the manufacturer warned that certain hybrid vehicles may be prone to catching on fire due to an electrical connection overheating, posing an injury and property damage hazard.
A Pacifica minivan recall was announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on June 11, following at least 12 reports of the minivans igniting due to an electrical post on the 12-volt battery developing high resistance and overheating.
The impacted vehicles are equipped with a 12-volt isolator post located behind the driver’s seat which may develop high resistance, causing the connection to overheat and potentially start a fire.
The recall indicates these overheating events may occur while the vehicle is in the on or off position. Chrysler is instructing customers to park the vehicles outdoors, away from other vehicles and structures, and to not allow moisture of any kind to get on the floor of the second row seating where the post is located, as this could increase the risk of a fire. In particular, the company warned customers to keep wet items out of the back seat such as beverages, umbrellas, or bottled liquids that could leak and make contact with the post.
Chrysler launched an investigation into the problem on February 26, after recognizing a trend in interior fires originating behind the driver’s seat. By June 4, the manufacturer had received a total of 12 related incident reports in which the 12-volt isolator post overheated or caused a fire, resulting in one injury.
The recall includes approximately 27,634 Pacifica hybrid minivans from the model years 2017 to 2020, which were manufactured between August 16, 2016 and June 4, 2020 by Chrysler FCA US LLC of Auburn Hills, Michigan. They were distributed for sale to licensed dealers in the United States and Canada.
According to Chrysler, a recall remedy is still under development. The company says it will begin notifying owners that an interim inspection of the isolator post will be available at their local dealer by June 22, 2020. If the defect is present, customers will be provided a loaner vehicle until a final remedy is developed.
Customers with additional questions or concerns regarding the recall should contact FCA US LLC customer service at 1-800-853-1403 and reference the recall number W46.