The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into customer complaints about 2017 Chrysler Pacificas losing engine power. NHTSA says it has made no determination on whether there is a defect. The Center for Auto Safety (an automobile public safety group) petitioned NHTSA in November after identifying 57 individual complaints. The agency opened the petition last month to evaluate the issue and to determine whether or not to take any action on it.
The Center says the complaints mention a stall or loss of power in Fiat Chrysler’s Pacifica minivans rendering drivers unable to accelerate, decelerate or use power steering. Based on those reports, the group wants the agency to find that the vehicle, of which an estimated 140,000 may be affected, has a defect that affects its safety and to order a recall. According to the Center, FCA US LLC’s dealership personnel haven’t been able to identify or fix the problem. Jason Levine, the Center executive director, said in a statement:
Stalling is a dangerous defect and has repeatedly led to tragedy. The danger goes beyond what happens to families in the stalled minivan during the loss of power, as drivers of disabled vehicles are often hit and killed by other cars after they have pulled over to the side of the road.
Fiat Chrysler has said that it doesn’t know of any injuries associated with the complaints and that there are no indications that the air bag or seatbelt pretensioner functions are, or may be, compromised. The company also said that in most of the complaints, drivers were able to restart their vehicles immediately and the issue did not happen again.
The Center said in its petition that the minivans have lost power at various speeds, ranging from sitting idle to 60 miles per hour while being driven in a tunnel. The group said that some owners have reported losing power as many as five times within the vehicle’s first 205 miles, while others said that they didn’t experience a loss of power until their Pacifica had logged several thousand miles. The group said that the lack of deaths or significant injuries reported as a result of a Pacifica’s lost power is “in a word, miraculous,” and urged NHTSA not to wait for injuries or deaths to occur before making a move toward fixing the problem.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.