Chrysler Pacifica Electric Hybrid Recall: Should You Contact a Lawyer?

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Over 27,000 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans have been recalled as of June 10, 2020. FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automotive) issued a statement alerting vehicle owners that a defect related to the 12-volt battery system could pose a fire hazard. Already, several vehicles have caught on fire and the issue has resulted in one reported minor injury.

This battery connection is responsible for powering auxiliary features (including the radio system and remote-control garage door openers). It does not affect the Pacifica’s electric propulsion system or the high-voltage battery which powers the vehicle.

Alerts for the Chrysler Pacific recalls were issued on June 22nd so owners of the 2017 through 2020 models should have received a letter from FCA alerting them of the recall. Owners are advised to take their vehicle into a dealership immediately for inspection.

Certified mechanics will look for any signs of corrosion around the cable connections for the 12-volt battery. If any issues are found, the owner will receive a loaner vehicle free of charge until the issue is resolved.

At this time, Chrysler is still investigating the cause of the issue in order to find a permanent solution.

All 2017-2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid models recalled for fire risk

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How Do I Know if My Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was Recalled?

You should have received an alert in the mail from FCA regarding the recall. However, if you are an owner of a 2017 through 2020 Hybrid Pacifica – and you did not receive this letter – you should still bring your vehicle in for inspection to a certified Chrysler dealership immediately.

You may also enter your vehicle’s VIN to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recall database or the Mopar website to see if your vehicle has been affected.

What Are My Rights if My Vehicle Has Been Recalled?

If you have been alerted by the manufacturer that your vehicle is potentially defective, you must act immediately by bringing the vehicle in for inspection. From there, it is the automaker’s responsibility to remedy the situation – whether that be fitting the bill for repairs, replacing the vehicle entirely, or offering you a refund.

It is important to note that a product recall can negate a lemon law claim, but this doesn’t necessarily apply to the Pacficia recall. In lemon law, it is the customer who must alert the manufacturer of a defect and offer the vehicle for repair.

A recall also typically involves a large number of vehicles which all have the same or similar defect. A lemon law claim usually only involves one vehicle that has a defect merely by chance. But the two concepts are not mutually exclusive. There is overlap, depending on the nature of the defect and alleged repair.

In the case of the Chrysler recall for the Pacifica Hybrid model, it may not be as difficult to file a lemon law claim based on the defect with the 12-volt battery. Generally, when a manufacturer issues a recall for a specific defect, they are able to fix the problem on the first repair attempt – meaning lemon law may not come into play.

However, if the manufacturer refuses/can’t permanently repair the defect, or the defect is not corrected properly after at least two attempts, or the vehicle is out of service for more than 30 days, you may file a lemon law claim.

What About Class Action Lawsuits for Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Recalls?

There were numerous class action lawsuits filed against Chrysler for various Pacifica Hybrid issues, including engine stalling problems, problems with the touch screen features, and steering problems.

In a class action lawsuit, you need to prove that your vehicle was affected in order to receive compensation should the manufacturer lose the claim. You do not typically need to hire a lawyer, communicate with the automaker directly, or appear in court.

While this seems like a pretty simple solution, you will likely receive far less compensation than you deserve. Since the payout is split between all of the consumers involved with the class action suit, payouts are generally fairly low. In many cases, it is merely a voucher to cover an additional alleged repair. On the other hand, California’s lemon law allows for a refund of your purchase price, aka lemon law buyback.

Should I Contact a Lawyer if my Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Gets Recalled?

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Depending on the issues with your Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, you may want to contact a lemon law lawyer. If the repair facility cannot permanently repair your Pacifica or your vehicle continues to malfunction after the first repair attempt to the 12-volt battery defect, you should certainly look into filing a lemon law claim. The alleged defect is so serious, it can cause serious bodily injury, even death.

Your lemon law attorney must prove that this defect impairs the vehicle’s use, value or safety, and that Chrysler had a reasonable opportunity to repair the defect. In this case, the underlying defect could qualify under the lemon law, and if so, Chrysler would need to buy the vehicle back or offer a replacement.

Keep in mind, Chrysler is responsible for paying all costs associated with the defect if your vehicle is recalled. This can go beyond just the repair to the 12-volt battery.

For instance, say that the issue caused a fire and burned down your house or apartment. You could recoup all of the costs related to damages, injuries, or even lost wages that stemmed from the faulty vehicle. However, you will need to have a good attorney to prove that these costs are directly related to the mechanical defect.

Conclusion

Your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road is of the utmost importance. If you have a 2017, 2018, 2019, or 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, there is a chance that it has a dangerous defect which could put your life (and other’s) in danger. First and foremost, you should take your Pacifica Hybrid to a dealership for immediate inspection – if you haven’t already.

If your Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was affected by the recall, you should contact a lemon law lawyer.  They will review your case and see if you are eligible for filing a claim against Chrysler for the defect.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your situation with an attorney, reach out to our team of California lemon law lawyers at Cline APC. We offer a free case evaluation to determine if you qualify for a lemon law claim, and our attorneys will fight for you until you receive rightful compensation.

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