Pachy Fires While Parked
This is an attempt to collect basic information about publicly known cases of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids catching fire while parked. All information collected here are pulled from statements made in the open (on public forums) and are not checked for veracity.
There are also several reports of vans catching fire while being driven, but those are distinct from the reports listed here. This compilation ignores those cases. Pachys catching on fire on the road tend to match the profile of the catalytic converter issue that was fixed by the U73/U94 recall: fires originating in the engine bay while the van is in motion, which spread relatively slowly (in comparison to the ones described here), giving occupants time to evacuate.
The first seven cases can be bucketed into two groups:
Cases #2, 3, and 4 here share several interesting similarities:
- Fires seem to have started near the battery packs in the middle of the van
- Violent explosion followed by huge flames
- Occurred while plugged in 6+ hours after charging should have finished
- Weather was mild/cool in all cases
Some differences include:
- Model year: one 2017, two 2018
- EVSE: one 240V ChargePoint, one 240V JuiceBox, one 120V OEM
#4, 5, and 6 all seem to have originated under or near the driver’s seat. Unlike 2, 3, and 4, the fires here seem to be relatively slower and less violent.
#1 is a little different because it seems to have originated at the 12V battery.
#8 is an anomaly. After a year and a half of no publicly known reports, this one popped up but I can’t find much information about it.
W46 Recall/NHTSA Campaign Number
On June 9, 2020, FCA issued a recall for a fire risk caused by the 12V system.
- Model years: 2017-2020
- Number of vehicles: 23,079 (all 2017-2020 Pachys)
Recall procedure: https://www.dropbox.com/s/81k3mi8r9gbp83c/w46%20recall.pdf
This may explain most or all of the incidents listed here. Some commonalities include:
- 6/8 (not sure about #9) of the below incidents were in colder climates where road salt and/or rain/snow being brought into the interior may have contributed to corrosion.
- 7/8 (not sure about #9) are consistent with the fire originating in the midsection of the van.
- 8/9 were plugged in at the time of fire. I haven’t verified this, but I’ve read some owners say that the 12V systems are energized while plugged in.
- The five cases of explosions all occurred while the van was unattended. A slow 12V fire would have had time to spread to the HV battery in these cases. The four fires that didn’t result in violent explosions were discovered by owners more quickly.
Z11 Recall/NHTSA Campaign Number
On February 11, 2022, Stellantis issued a recall for a vaguely-worded fire issue which currently has no publicly stated root cause or remedy.
- Model years: 2017-2018
- Number of vehicles: 16,741 (all 2017-2018 Pachys)
Is this related to the previous W46 recall?
- No. This campaign is unrelated to any other. The previous Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid campaign involved only the 12-volt battery system and a smaller number of fires. ()
1. CassnGeoff, 2019-02-20 in New Jersey
Summary: Smoke and smell coming from rear driver side quarter panel. Found extremely overheated 12V battery after removing the cover near the driver’s side rear wheel.
- Issue was discovered before major damage could result.
- 12V battery found defective. No damage to van.