More than 50 owners of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan have filed complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alleging that the vehicle has suddenly lost power while on the road, posing a serious safety risk to owners.
The New York Times reports that other Pacifica owners have described similar incidents on a Pacifica online chat forum and on Facebook.
The problem seems to be affecting a small fraction of the more than 156,000 Pacificas sold since the minivan was introduced in 2016. No crashes or injuries have been linked to the problem, and dealers have been unable to replicate the issue on affected vehicles they have examined. Fiat Chrysler says it's looking into the problem but hasn't been able to identify the source.
FCA spokesman Eric Mayne told the Times the company "is unaware of any injuries by accidents associated with these complaints" but takes customer concerns seriously. He said there was no indication that airbags or seatbelt tension were compromised by the issue. The Pacifica's airbags remain operational even when the vehicle loses power.
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One owner, Adam Cohen, of Leesburg, Va., said his 2017 Pacifica shut down twice while his wife was driving it. He's been discussing the issue with Chrysler engineers and quality officials in recent weeks and even wrote to FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne.
"They want to put a data recorder on my Pacifica and have me take it back and drive it around," he told the Times. "I told them they should drive it themselves and wait for it to happen. I don't want my family to be their test dummies. And that's where it stands. We're at a deadlock."