Stellantis Finally Has a Fix for for Fire Risk in Pacifica Hybrids
Some eight months after Stellantis acknowledged reports of fires in Pacifica hybrid minivans, the company says it is finally ready to fix the problem. Even if it still does not know exactly what the problem is.
The automaker recently told federal regulators in the U.S. that it has a remedy for a previously announced recall of certain 2017 and 2018 minivans, according to the Detroit News. That recall, issued earlier this year, covers nearly 20,000 vehicles that the company says are at increased risk of going up in flames.
Stellantis said it had received at least 12 reports of fires in Pacifica minivans at the time of the recall. Because it did not know how to fix the problem, the company simply told owners to avoid charging the vehicles and to park them outside.
Since then, Stellantis said it is aware of at least two more fires. One of those fires resulted in at least minor injuries, the Detroit News reports.
The company is now offering to repair vehicles, although it is not exactly sure what is causing them to catch fire.
“A root cause hasn't been identified in the blazes,” Breana Noble reports for the Detroit News, “though the automaker says it has identified conditions that potentially precede a fire, which the fix addresses.”
Stellantis is asking owners of recalled minivans to bring the vehicles to local dealers. The company will update software for the vehicles’ battery packs and inspect and replace packs as needed, it told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“The estimated repair time is 1½ to two days and there is no cost to vehicle owners, who will receive alternative transportation while the vehicle is serviced,” the Detroit News reports.
Electric Vehicle Car Fire Risks
Stellantis is one of several major auto manufacturers that has recently had to call back electric vehicles over fire concerns.
General Motors, for example, in recent years was forced to recall nearly all of the Chevy Bolts that it produced because of fire risks. That recall similarly came after reports of vehicles going up in flames and viral videos of parked cars catching fire overnight.
The recalls are staggering, not only because of the serious safety risk that the fires pose. They come as major auto manufacturers plan to go fully electric in the coming years. The recalls should prompt serious questions about whether Stellantis, GM and others can make electric cars that are actually safe to drive.
In the meantime, Californians who have been stuck with a defective vehicle - electric or otherwise - have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law. It generally requires automakers to perform a wide range of repairs on vehicles under warranty and to buy back cars that they cannot or will not fix.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you are a Chevy Bolt or other car owner or lessor stuck with a lemon or locked in a dispute with a manufacturer over repairs, the lemon law attorneys at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help.
Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer today.