Fiat Chrysler Seems to Have Cleared the Pacifica Hybrid Production Hurdle

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
fiat chrysler seems to have cleared the pacifica hybrid production hurdle

Conflicting reports claim Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has either restarted, or is poised to restart, production of the Pacifica Hybrid minivan in Windsor, Ontario.

This comes after a tumultuous month for the automaker’s headline-grabbing plug-in minivan. First, a voluntary safety recall saw all Pacifica Hybrids built to date recalled for faulty inverter diodes, following incidents in which several vehicles lost power while underway. The recall then led to the shadowy shutdown of hybrid minivan production.

News of the shutdown irked dealers, some of whom expressed frustration to The Wall Street Journal. Some customers had been left waiting after the first deliveries arrived later than expected, and a prolonged production shutdown would only have led to more dissatisfied customers and more PR problems for FCA.

According to the Windsor Star, while hybrid models stopped appearing on the Pacifica production line several weeks ago, the plant’s union boss claims production might already have restarted. Dino Chiodo, president of Unifor Local 444, told the Star his belief was that hybrid production would resume this week following. Chiodo was unable to confirm this at the time of his call.

However, sources have told Automotive News that hybrids are indeed moving down the Windsor assembly line, having returned at some point last week. The break in Pacifica Hybrid production, the sources claim, was a matter of days, not weeks.

Regardless of whether the hybrids have returned, the shutdown proved a quiet affair. Only the recall officially made it out to the public. The Pacifica Hybrid, which carries a $13,000 price premium over a base model and serves as the company’s green flagship, is capable of 33 miles of all-electric range. Having a flagship dry-docked for emergency repairs doesn’t do a company’s image any favors.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Jun 27, 2017

    So are they swapping out complete controllers, or are they able to just replace the diodes? I imagine they're pretty big.

    • Shaker Shaker on Jun 28, 2017

      Redacted - placed the wrong info. (I confused "inverters" with "controllers" - need more coffee.)

  • Stevelovescars Stevelovescars on Jun 28, 2017

    Seems to me that stopping production and addressing a problem quickly is the right way to go about making cars. This article takes a pretty negative tone and seems to imply something larger is going on. Production of the van does seem to be quite delayed, but better to delay production than to make faulty products, no?

    • Luke42 Luke42 on Jun 29, 2017

      I'm totally the target market for this car. Three kids, and we've owned both a Prius and a regular minivan. My daily driving with the van is less than 30 miles most days. However, I'm skittish about Chrysler'a reputation for reliability, because I come from the Honda/Toyota world (though I've owned sever Fords), and because my personal temperament suggests that the most luxurious car in existence is the one that starts when I want it to. If I get a Pacifica Hybrid, I'm likely to lease rather than buy, so the I'm not left holding the bag when the vehicle goes tango uniform on me. The tone in this article suggests that the author is similarly nervous about the whole picture. Yes, fixing problems when they appear is the right thing to do -- but I'm accustomed to vehicles where problems are an abstraction under 100k-miles.

  • Tassos Subaru really knows how to take fugly to ever higher levels, and sell every one of the (of course very few) it makes. As if the number of sales negates the fugliness.Don't hold your breath. I bet this will NOT be the vehicle James Bond arrives at the Casino in Monte Carlo with in his next flick. (if any)
  • ToolGuy Government overreach. Park the Ford in your air-conditioned garage on a maintenance charger and this won't be a problem.Here's some (old) general background if you are interested.@ILO, there are 3 Fords, and Ford Pro™ is the one with the bright future 🙂
  • ToolGuy No harm no foul (no one died), business is business, yada yada. Why must everyone pick on dealers?-this post dedicated to Ruggles
  • Hydrocrust Parts
  • ToolGuy The vehicle development process which gave the world the Neon was so amazing (according to the automotive press) that it prompted Rick Wagoner to hire Bob Lutz.Didn't work 🙂