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 by the original posters but are not otherwise 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.
Because there are only six publicly known cases of these fires, it’s difficult for an outside observer to draw any conclusions. However, these can be bucketed into two groups:
Cases #1, 2, and 3 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 the first three, the fires here seem to be relatively slower and less violent.
1. pacificafire, approx 2019-04-25 in Toronto
Summary: Car caught fire at 3am while sitting on the driveway after charging, with flames the height of their two-story house. Family woke up from “things blowing up” and escaped the house.
- No injuries
- Total loss of van, with almost nothing but the frame remaining
- Damaged garage
- Damaged second car that was parked inside the garage
Model: 2017 Pachy, no accidents, 20k miles.
Charging: Hardwired Chargepoint L2, professionally installed. Van was charged this way for 1.5 years before fire. Charged from 7pm until 3am fire, so car should have finished charging by 9pm, six hours before the fire.
U73/U94: U94 was not performed, but pacificafire also states that Chrysler said there are no recalls for the VIN.
Last ICE run: at least 8 hours before fire, since charging began then.
- Has never used a public charger.
- Changed oil at dealership a week before fire.
- Owner did not respond to multiple requests (including two emails from me) for ChargePoint history, which could have recorded signs of overcharging.
2. Bsmith, 2019-06-15 in USA (Texas?)
Summary: Loud explosion occurred at 7am while car was on the driveway after charging. Smoke started appearing about 15 minutes before the explosion, based on neighbor’s Nest cam.
- No injuries