By on June 26, 2017

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid (left) and Chrysler Pacifica (right) - Image: FCA

Despite being lauded for its high level of content, smooth ride, and all-electric range, Chrysler’s plug-in hybrid minivan has hit a large roadblock. After voluntarily recalling all Pacifica Hybrids due to a safety defect that could see the minivan go dark at inopportune times, it seems the assembly line has ground to a halt in Windsor, Ontario.

A recall earlier this month saw Fiat Chrysler Automobiles call back 1,368 vehicles in the U.S. and 309 in Canada following complaints of loss of propulsion. The issue reportedly stems from defective inverter diodes. While the wonky electrified powertrain hasn’t resulted in any crashes or injuries, electrified cars that suddenly stop sending current to the motor aren’t something customers or the automaker can tolerate.

It’s a serious stumble for FCA’s green halo car.

According to the The Wall Street Journal, FCA’s Windsor Assembly plant, which produces both the Pacifica and older Dodge Grand Caravan, has stopped producing the hybrid variant. The stoppage reportedly began several weeks ago. (FCA hasn’t made the shutdown public.)

As the automaker attempts to add some environmental sensitivity to its truck and SUV-heavy product lineup, it seems FCA’s greenest vehicles have become the most controversial. The company’s EcoDiesel fiasco has spurred a stop-sale order for uncertified 2017 Jeep and Ram models, condemnation from the Environmental Protection Agency, and a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice. Now, America’s first hybrid minivan finds itself idled just it was beginning to find customers.

It’s a “black eye,” one dealer told the WSJ. Bill Bernard, general manager of an FCA dealership in Fredonia, N.Y., lamented, “Chrysler does a very poor job of launching new products.”

Sources familiar with the matter say FCA executives are confident Pacifica Hybrid production will start up in time to meet existing orders. For the sake of the brand, it had better. Minivans are no longer the sales powerhouse they were in the 1980s and 90s. And, with the Pacifica Hybrid being the priciest variant in the FCA minivan lineup — the Hybrid carries a U.S. MSRP of $41,995, or $13,000 more than a base Pacifica — the last thing the automaker needs is a model-tarnishing vehicle shortage.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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21 Comments on “Fiat Chrysler Shuts Down Pacifica Hybrid Production Amid Safety Recall: Report...”

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    Can they shut down the fake-article ad on this blog in concert with the shut down?

    • 0 avatar

      Nothing fake at all about something labeled sponsored content, though it’s a waste of money for some algorithm to decide to display an ad for the Pacifica Hybrid because there’s an article referencing the stop production order.

      Do you understand how publishing and broadcasting companies make money? Do you work for free?

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        I don’t object to ads, I just objective ads that try to masquerade as real content. I know it says “sponsored”, I still don’t like it. I don’t blame you guys.

  • avatar

    ” it seems the assembly line has ground to a halt in Windsor, Ontario.”

    This is just wrong. Windsor Assembly Plant is very busy making ICE Pacficas, Town & Countrys, and Grand Caravans. There is a “HOLD” on production of PHEV Pacificas.

    By using that phrase you misrepresent and sensationalize quality issue for a minor quantity of the daily production. Hopefully the B&B will not overreact to this.

    • 0 avatar

      Sounds like you may have inside info. I have long believed that Mopar products don’t have the quality of even GM vehicles. Is there anything happening in the product quality area that would make me believe otherwise? I liken Mopar vehicles as pretty models that should never go on the road.

      • 0 avatar

        It doesn’t take insider information to understand that any Hybrid vehicle is made on the same assembly line as other vehicle. Hybrids cannot support a whole plant by themselves. A little more research will tell any journalist that would take time to do it that the Windsor plant makes all the vehicles I listed. Even if the Pacifica was the only vehicle built in Windsor, a problem with an EV or PHEV would just mean orders would be held or not scheduled.

        Changing someone’s “perceived quality” of a certain brand is a waste of time for everyone involved. In my neighborhood we have a Chrysler Guy, Ford Guy, and a Chevy guy. They all believe their brand is the only one worth buying. They rib each other about choosing an inferior truck/car. One thing they all agree to is that they would never own a foreign car.

        BTW all three have similar vintage trucks with similar miles and nothing other than routine maintenance on them.

        • 0 avatar
          Middle-Aged Miata Man

          “Changing someone’s “perceived quality” of a certain brand is a waste of time for everyone involved.”

          This sounds too much like an excuse for not even trying.

          • 0 avatar

            Can we all agree on hating AlexMcD’s car and opining upon it publicly– while adding nothing to the current dialogue?

            Because I really want to.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        With my brother having an 0-3 Mopar product success rate (success = getting to 100k with no major repairs beyond recommended maintenance), I’d have to agree with you. Their long-term quality sucks.

        • 0 avatar

          Dave, I don’t know about you but almost EVERY Mopar I’ve owned:

          2001 Chrysler Town & Country
          2006 Chrysler Town & Country
          1997 Eagle Vision ESI (two of them)
          2007 Dodge Magnum SXT
          1979 Dodge Truck
          1987 Chrysler Fifth Avenue

          and more went WELL over 100K without issue. I can’t say all since one was stolen at 35K and never recovered.

          I wish I could say the same about FoMoCo products. Most were lucky to get 70K without catastrophic failures (Electrical, Air Suspension, Transmission, Intake failures, axle failures, etc). Vehicles like:

          1992 Grand Marquis
          1996 Lincoln Town Car
          1993 Ford F-150
          1988 Grand Marquis

          • 0 avatar

            Yeah, because cars from 20+ years ago show the quality of today’s models.

            If those Panthers couldn’t make it to 70k, why do we see them with 300k+ after being used for the two worst jobs a car can have (police and taxi)? Why was demand for them so strong that they remained in production a decade or so after their “best by” date?

    • 0 avatar

      The Town & Country has been out of production for a while now, since the Pacifica was introduced.

      But your point is valid, the entire assembly plant didn’t “grind to a halt”, only the Hybrid Pacifica was suspended.

  • avatar
    Highway Cruiser

    TTAC and their contributors are happy to upload shit to FCA side. They just experiencing impetuous euphoria by doing that. Keep it up !

  • avatar

    As we no longer need our 2016 Ram Big Horn for moving to our new home, we were about to lease a new Pacifica in its place. That minivan deserves all the praise and accolades it has received. I know that a lease should be retained until near the end of the contract (we are $6,000 upside down in the wholesale sense and I work for an FCA dealer). Only thing is I found a Pacifica Touring L with the Plus package, which had a built in $2,635 discount for options that priced at $2,655. Still, we have to make extra principle payments, find an interested buyer for the Luxury Brown Ram 1500 or just wait for the 2018 lease specials.

    • 0 avatar
      Cole Trickle

      Wait…you lease a truck just to move? And the 2,600 in discounts you get for free make taking a $6000 bath on resale make sense?

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, because when you rent an Enterprise truck they often charge $139 per DAY. Even with my employee discount rate, when a truck was available, the charge would be $242 for the weekend. We moved items for over a year. $369 (including tax) per month on a $42,000 Ram was very reasonable indeed. And the lease payment is a tax write-off in my on-the-road occupation.
        Remember, I only pay “sales” tax per month, so I was ahead by $3,320 on day one of the lease.

  • avatar

    I had wondered how a company with Chrysler’s reputation would do with something as technologically complicated as a hybrid. I guess I have my answer.

  • avatar

    This debacle has been going for a couple of months. They pulled all of the “in transit” hybrids back to the factory and didn’t say a word for weeks and weeks. The communication from Chrysler has been abysmal to say the least, nothing proactive at all.

    At this point, it looks like they will close the factory for the MY2018 updates so the 2017 launch is essentially dead, and all of the 2017 production (which was very limited) will have to be reworked at the factory. My guess is that inventory will end up as program cars and never as new dealer stock given the issue.

    Instead of getting ahead of Honda’s 2018 launch, they will end up having a very expensive “do over” in September as they attempt to relaunch what should have been a slam dunk.

    All of this over a flipping DIODE. . .

  • avatar

    Ah… production has already resumed. ;)

  • avatar

    We just purchased a new minivan this weekend after our Mazda3 committed seppuku a week prior via head gasket failure. It was too small for our growing family, so we just moved up our already-planned minivan purchase a year or so.

    What we wanted to consider: Odyssey, Sedona, Pacifica, and Pacifica Hybrid. However there wasn’t a single hybrid on the ground in Northern California and none of the dealers would say why or when they would get one. My wife liked the Pacifica best of the three, so we bought a new Pacifica LX for $25500 out-the-door. It’s hard to know if we would have loved and purchased the much more expensive hybrid if Chrysler simply had one for sale.

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