December 6, 2017
How would you feel if you were on your way to work when suddenly, your vehicle just stopped working? Chances are you would be absolutely frightened, especially if you experienced this problem while driving on a busy freeway. That is what happened to Sid Patel on a highway in San Francisco. He was traveling at 70 miles per hour when his Chrysler Pacifica shut down completely.
Sid Patel’s incident with his Pacifica happened over two months ago. Since then, there have been 50 more complaints lodged by Pacifica owners about their vehicles losing power. So far, there have been no injuries or car accidents linked to the problem, but many Pacifica drivers are still frightened of their cars. Some drivers have stopped driving their Pacifica’s completely until an explanation for the problem is found. Many Chrysler dealerships have been examining the cars but have not found any problems; they have been unable to replicate the situation while testing out the cars themselves. The manufacturer is currently looking into the problem and conducting diagnostics.
Many Pacifica drivers who have encountered these problems have left the car at the dealerships and refuse to take them back until the problem is figured out. Some dealers have offered to install an electronic steering control monitor, that way if the car shuts down completely, drivers will still be able to steer themselves to a safe place.
As of today, Chrysler has not issued any recalls for the vehicle. Out of more than 156,000 Pacificas sold, only 50 complaints have been lodged. Chrysler may feel that a recall is not necessary at the moment since the problem is occurring in only a small fraction of units that have been sold.
This isn’t the first time Chrysler has come under fire for failing to notify people about vehicle malfunctions. In 2015, the manufacturer did not notify vehicle owners about recalls in over 23 models. More than 11 defective vehicles were on the road and drivers had no idea. The highway safety agency hit Chrysler with a $105 million dollar fine. In 2016, Actor Anton Yelchin passed away due to a malfunction in the Jeep Grand Cherokee (which is manufactured by Chrysler). The Jeep Grand Cherokee had rolled down Yelchin’s driveway and crushed him to death. Yelchin’s vehicle had been a part of a recall sent out by Chrysler for a malfunction in the electronic gearshift. Sadly, the gearshift in Yelchin’s vehicle was not repaired in time because the actor was not notified of the recall. It has been reported that the recall had been sent to Yelchin 7 days after his death. The pressure is on for Chrysler to respond to this problem in a timely manner.
Moving forward, we hope that Chrysler will send out a recall sooner rather than later. Unexpected vehicle malfunctions are a scary situation to go through. As technology gets smarter and more research and development is put into cars of the future, hopefully problems like this can become a thing of the past.