The Chrysler Pacifica is once again under fire for potential dangers. This time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an official federal investigation into consumer complaints about frequent engine stalls.
A stalled engine is the last thing you need on the road. If you have a Pacifica, you should pay careful attention to its performance to determine if you’re at risk of a stall. If you’ve already faced problems with your minivan’s engine, you may be able to file a lemon law claim to get it repaired, replaced, or refunded. Here’s what you need to know about the current Pacifica investigation and what you can do if your vehicle has problems.
Owner Complaints Lead to NHTSA Investigation of Pacificas
Owners have complained about various aspects of the Chrysler Pacifica’s performance for several years. The NHTSA has received more than 40 complaints for issues regarding engine stalls alone. Many of these complaints were filed in the past year for 2019-2021 Pacificas, which is particularly concerning since many of the vehicles in question are less than a year old.
The complaints share many similar traits. Typical elements of a Pacifica engine stall incident include:
- The car was going 25 miles an hour or faster, and most commonly at highway speeds.
- When the car stalls, it loses all motive power and must coast to the side of the road. If it stops, it will not move again.
- The stalling incident leaves the car completely disabled and will not turn on or start again.
- The stall coincides with a dashboard error message reporting an internal transmission malfunction and a problem charging the battery.
In short, the stall appears related to the transmission or battery. Since Pacificas are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PVEHs), either problem will likely require a serious and expensive fix.
According to the agency, more than 21,000 minivans are involved in the investigation. Depending on the results of the inquiry, the NHTSA or Chrysler may order a recall of the affected vehicles. If a recall occurs, owners may be able to get their cars repaired at no cost. However, until a recall is ordered, Pacifica owners must rely on their warranties to get their stalled minivans working again.
Risks of Engine Stalls
Engine stalls are never a good thing. Without engine power, nothing is propelling the vehicle forward. A stall is equivalent to an engine brake, which can pose a significant safety risk in many situations.
For example, if a vehicle stalls at highway speeds, nothing tells other drivers that it will slow down. Without the warning of brake lights, it’s all too likely that an engine stall could cause you to get rear-ended by someone tailgating you.
Similarly, engine stalls can leave you unable to escape dangerous situations. Whether you’re on the freeway or at a busy intersection, if your engine stalls, you can’t accelerate to get around other drivers or move over to the side of the road. If you don’t have enough momentum to pull over somewhere safe, you could be trapped in the middle of a busy road. In short, engine stalls aren’t just annoying and expensive; they’re dangerous.
How to File a Lemon Claim for Your Chrysler Pacifica
If your Pacifica’s engine has stalled and it’s still under warranty, you may be able to get it repaired or even refunded by filing a lemon law claim. There are three steps to filing a successful lemon claim:
1. Determine If You’re Eligible
Not every vehicle is still eligible for a lemon law claim. For a car to be protected by California’s warranty laws, it must meet several criteria:
- It must still be under warranty (most warranties expire three or five years after the car was first sold)
- The vehicle must have been purchased in California
- It must have a significant manufacturing defect that impacts its value, utility, or safety
- The manufacturer must have failed to repair the defect after a “reasonable number” of attempts
If your Pacifica meets those criteria, then it’s likely that you’re eligible to file a lemon claim. If you want to learn more, you can see if you qualify by taking our quick quiz.
2. Gather Necessary Evidence
If you qualify, you’ll need to gather proof that your car is a lemon. First, collect a copy of your warranty and title for the car. This will prove that you’re covered and own the vehicle for which you’re filing a claim.
Next, collect documentation about the car’s problems. You’ll need proof that your minivan’s engine stalled, such as tow records. You’ll also need evidence that the manufacturer has had the chance to attempt repairs. Dig out receipts and documents from every visit to the mechanic for the same issue. Without these, you may just be told to give them another chance to fix it.
3. Work with Experienced Attorneys
Manufacturers don’t want to refund vehicles unless they absolutely have to. If you’re taking on Chrysler with a lemon claim, it helps to have qualified legal help on your side. By working with an experienced warranty attorney, you can trust that your case is handled correctly and thoroughly to get you the best possible outcome.
Work with Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys to Fight for Pacifica Refunds
You shouldn’t have to worry that your Chrysler Pacifica PVEH is going to stall every time you get on the freeway. The minivans covered by the NHTSA’s investigation are so new that they are almost certainly still under warranty. If your vehicle has already stalled on you, it’s time to make the most of California’s car warranty laws and resolve the problem. The first step is contacting the experts at Johnson & Buxton – The Lemon Law Guys. We understand how manufacturers fight these claims because we used to work for them. Now we work with our clients to fight for the compensation they deserve for their faulty cars. Call us at 866-761-2317 or reach out online to learn more about how we can help you with your faulty Pacifica.