California Lemon Law News + Info

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Transmission Issues Re-Investigated

An investigation into Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid transmission issues has been reopened due to the risk that recall repairs will leave drivers stranded.

A transmission malfunction in 2017-2023 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid electrical vehicles could cause the vehicles to go into limp mode or lose motive power. Specifically, these Pacifica PHEVs lose power because internal transmission wiring connectors could short circuit, causing an unexpected engine shutdown.

The reopened Chrysler Pacifica investigation is concerned with the recall’s failure to fix the transmission malfunction issue completely. According to the latest ODI resume, the remedy provided in the previous recall failed to address defective hardware, as the wire connectors are still capable of short circuiting.

The recall of 67,118 model year 2017-2023 Chrysler Pacifica PHEVs was issued after an investigation determined that a transmission motor wiring defect caused engine shutdowns. The investigation, which ran from July 22, 2022 to March 27, 2024, revealed 100 incidents related to the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV shutdowns. Further correspondence between FCA and the Office of Defects Investigation revealed that an “electric motor position trouble code” was the basis for the initial investigation. Chrysler owners were notified on or around March 08, 2023.

At the time of the recall, FCA was aware of at least six customer assistance records, 242 warranty claims, and 59 field reports related to the transmission malfunction and engine shutdown.

The recall remedy updates the Power Inverter Module software and, if needed, the instrument panel cluster software. The software updates would provide a message stating “Stop Safely – Vehicle Will Shut Off Soon”, followed by a chime and a Malfunction Indicator Lamp light, a flashing PRNDL, a low State Of Charge warning and reduced power mode. These software updates are intended to give drivers ample warning so they could pull over safely.

However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is concerned that drivers may end up pulling over in unsafe locations. On February 27, 2024, the ODI opened a new investigation into the recall’s insufficient remedying of the hardware problems. By the time of the new investigation, ODI received 132 reports of the transmission malfunction. Further discussions with FCA revealed that the remedy does not prevent loss of power. Instead, it limits torque to the engine. After some time, the engine will still shut down, and the owner has to bring the vehicle to a dealership for a hardware replacement.

Learn more about how recalls work and how recalls can affect your lemon law claim. If your Chrysler Pacifica has not been repaired within a reasonable number of attempts (recall repairs or not), you may have a defective vehicle on your hands.

Lemon Law Help by Knight Law Group is an automotive lemon law firm that exclusively practices in California. If you are a California resident who purchased or leased a defective vehicle from a licensed dealership in California, we may be able to help you get rid of your potential lemon and recover significant cash compensation. Model year restrictions apply: 2017–Present vehicle models only.

However, we cannot help those who reside outside of California or purchased their vehicle outside of California unless they are active duty members of the Armed Forces, nor will we be able to refer those to a lemon law firm in their states.

To learn more about the California Lemon Law and your legal rights, visit our guides on the California Lemon Law and Used Car Lemon Law for more information.

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