• Feb 27, 2008
Investigators for the National Highway Traffic safety Administration are taking a closer look at 2007 Chrysler Pacificas equipped with the 4.0-liter V6. There is a concern that the vehicles could be prone to engine bay fires. A cross-threaded power steering fitting that prevents proper sealing of the hydraulic system could be the root cause. Chrysler has received 166 warranty claims and 25 complaints reporting smoke and fire breaking out. NHTSA has also received three complaints, and the fires seem to be localized to the front of the vehicle, indicating that a power steering leak could indeed be to blame.

Chrysler is aware of the problem, which is specific to the 4.0-liter equipped Pacificas, and traced it to a tube nut on the high pressure power steering line. The nut was found to have been cross threaded when attached to the steering gear, which prevents the o-ring from sealing. Chrysler has put extra quality assurance and assembly processes in place to solve the problem. The automaker also explained that owners should monitor the level of power steering fluid and listen for a noisy pump; both telltale signs that offer a degree of early warning before the Pacifica goes up in smoke. If NHTSA continues to see a problem, a recall of the 2007 Pacifica could be imminent.

Thanks to Autoblog reader Thedevil (we don't make this stuff up) for the tip.

[Source: ConsumerAffairs.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      So is it correct to assume that if I have a slight power steering pump leak I have a greater risk of fire breaking out in my Subaru? I've been putting off fixing it because all it really costs right now is one bottle of fluid every 3-4 months.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Typical Chrysler crap. I don't care if the "statistics" say that this is a "rare" problem, if you bought one of these and it caught on fire, you would be pissed.

      I hate Chrysler. Ask me about my 99 Durango crapmobile sometime.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Typical. Sad to say but I actually expect this of Chrysler so I am not surprised. It's beyond tiring to actually expect them to be better than this.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yet again if this were Toyota, oh never mind.
      • 6 Years Ago
      25 fires out of almost 54,000 Pacificas sold in 2007. That's less than 1/20th of 1%, which translates to barely a blip on any kind of statistics. Another way to look at it is less than 1 in 2,000 vehicles. If the hoses are in a tight space under the hood anyone who has ever worked on a car can tell you what a pain it is the get them threaded right even when you aren't working on the clock.
      Why didn't Chrysler know about it already? Probably the same reason why Ford didn't pay any attention to Explorer tires - the problem is miniscule in reality.

      Besides, these vehicles are still under warranty, shouldn't their owners have noticed the loss of power steering fluid, or the spots in the driveway and taken the vehicle to the dealership where the cross-threaded fitting would presumably have been found? Naturally it is best if the vehicle has no problems, but owner neglect only compounds the problem.
        • 6 Years Ago
        250 out of how many deaths have occurred in Explorers overall? Out of how many explorers sold overall? I agree that safe vehicles is the goal, but were tread separations even the leading cause of fatal accidents in Explorers? Did they even rank in the top five reasons? top ten? Would improved crush zones and better airbags or improved braking and handling save more lives than a tire pressure monitoring system that the driver will probably still ignore just like all the people I see driving about on tires that are obviously underinflated.

        Even if you don't consider things like owner negligence being involved (again) and things like Car and Drivers test pointing to driver skill being a large factor in the accidents, Explorer tires still isn't anything but a tiny issue being blown out of proportion by the media. With nearly 43,000 car accident deaths each year in the US it isn't hard to find something that has caused 100, even 1000 deaths and make a big fuss out of it even though things like driver distraction, lack of skill, drunk driving, etc are *still* some of the biggest causes of fatal accidents. We'd just rather hear about something that we can try and blame someone else for.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does this/will this affect the new '08 RT-platform mini-van with the same 4.0l??
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is from Allpar:
        "According to the NHTSA, the fires were under the hood near the front. Chrysler says the problem may be an improperly assembled power-steering system seal resulting that could allow fluid to leak. Pacifica owners may notice a fluid loss or noise from the power-steering pump before smoke or fire appears."

        So I guess it depends if it uses the same steering system.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You are welcome ,DAN! glad i could help.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Chrysler should own up to this right away. Even if they elect not to issue a major recall on the vehicle, Pacifica owners should be notified of the problem regardless.

      Even if the problem is not as serious as it may be indicated, these vehicles should be inspected and defective parts replaced during routine scheduled maintenance visits.

      There's no reason to wait and see if something serious happens, like an owner coming out to see their shiny new Pacifica doing an impersonation of a Roman candle, or worse yet, the loss of life.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Worry-free driving and peace of mind are not benefits of owning a Chrysler.
      • 6 Years Ago
      wait
      25 smoke and fires and Chrystler is not moving ahead with the recall (without Nashta requiring it first)?

      that's a shame, at least be pro-active so to let everyone know that you stand by your product and that you're willing to fix any issues right away