Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has issued a recall for 10,021 2017-2018 MY Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (“PHEV”) vehicles may experience engine mis-synchronization which may result in a thermal degradation of the catalyst or nearby components or may lead to a loss of motive power.
After FCA conducted an internal investigation it was determined that some auto restart events (where the vehicle has been operating in PHEV propulsion mode, and the gas-fueled engine is attempting to restart in order to take over propulsion), the engine can synchronize 360-degrees out of phase. The detection of this mis-synchronization was not robust in the PCM software. In the PHEV propulsion system, the electric motor will continue to spin the engine in this condition causing significant amounts of unburned fuel to enter the catalyst and potentially ignite.
The improperly started engine could result in a loss of motive power increasing the risk of a crash or the unburned fuel in the catalyst may ignite increasing the risk of a fire.
FCA will conduct a Voluntary Safety Recall to update PCM software to detect and correct engine mis-synchronization and to inspect the catalytic converter and replace, if necessary. FCA has a longstanding policy and practice of reimbursing owners who have incurred the cost of repairing a problem that subsequently becomes the subject of a field action. To ensure consistency, FCA, as part of the owner letter, will request that customers send the original receipt and/or other adequate proof of payment to the company for confirmation of the expense.
FCA will notify owners, and dealers will update the powertrain controller module software, and inspect and replace the catalytic converter as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 8, 2018. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov.
Mfr’s Report Date: October 19, 2018
NHTSA Campaign Number: 18V-740
ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:EXHAUST SYSTEM:EMISSION CONTROL:CATALYTIC CONVERTOR
HYBRID PROPULSION SYSTEM
Potential Number of Units Affected: 10,021