You’re driving down the road in your brand-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan. Your kids are chattering away in the back seat while you try to navigate city traffic. Then, without warning, the vehicle stalls out and turns off, instructing you to put the car in park to restart it. Suddenly, you need to coast your vehicle through traffic to the shoulder where you can stop it completely and reset the vehicle. But when you take it to the dealership, they tell you nothing is wrong.
Chrysler Pacifica Stalling Defect Puts Families at Risk
That’s the story told by many 2016-2017 Chrysler Pacifica owners. They face random stalling and power failures in their brand new vehicles – some at the most inopportune time. Reports to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) say that the stalling defect can trigger:
- When stopped at or accelerating away from an intersection
- While stopped in parking lots
- While cruising on city streets or even highways
A problem with the vehicle’s Powertrain Control Module causes the vehicle to lose engine timing and crankshaft position synchronization. For the driver, that means that all electrical systems reset, causing the vehicle to stall out and the power steering to turn off.
When this kind of unexpected power failure happens on busy streets or at high speeds, the danger to drivers, passengers, and fellow motorists can be severe. Because the power steering goes out along with the engine, drivers must work hard to maneuver their malfunctioning vehicle safely away from traffic, while all the while their vehicle is slowing down, creating a danger that they will be rear-ended by upcoming traffic.
Fiat Chrysler’s Software Recall Does Not Correct the Problem
After over a year of denying the stalling defect existed, Fiat Chrysler finally issued a safety recall in January 2018. This recall instructed Chrysler dealerships to install a software patch that had been available to the company since August 2017. In fact, the Safety Recall excluded anyone who had received the August 2017 T23 update because it used all the same software.
But drivers who got the update still can’t be certain of their safety. Many drivers have reported dutifully taking their vehicles in to receive the update, only to have the vans stall again – some on the way home from the dealership.
California Class Action Seeks Compensation for Inconvenienced Drivers
A law firm in California has filed a nationwide class action to try to hold Fiat Chrysler accountable for the Chrysler Pacifica stalling defect. The lawsuit, called Wildin v FCA US LLC, was filed on behalf of all Pacifica drivers, seeking damages under various consumer protection laws.
However, another recent California class action shows that sometimes, filing your own lawsuit is better. Nationwide class actions can sometimes settle based on the benefits available under the least protective statutes nationwide or for far less than you could receive in an individual lawsuit. If, for example, your state laws allow for a repurchase or replacement, you could end up with less than you deserve.
The California class action lawsuit also explicitly excludes anyone who suffered personal injury because of the defect. That means if your Chrysler Pacifica’s power loss resulted in an accident, you will not be covered by the settlement or jury verdict. You will need to file your own lawsuit to recover for personal injury and consumer protection damages based on Michigan law instead.
The class in Wildin has not yet been certified. That means there is still time for Michigan motorists to file their own lawsuits and secure protection under the Michigan Lemon Law and other consumer protection laws. At The Liblang Law Firm, PC, our lemon law attorneys have been helping consumers fight back against auto defects for over 30 years. We will review your case and help you decide if opting out of the class action and filing your own lawsuit is right for you. We’ve already begun representing Michigan drivers against FCA in these Chrysler Pacifica stalling defect cases. And we can help you too. Get started now. Contact The Liblang Law Firm, PC, for a free consultation.