Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Chrysler for Defect Causing Unexplained Explosion and Fire in Pacifica Hybrids

Chrysler Advises Owners of Sixteen Thousand Minivans That Their Vehicles Are Potential Ticking Bombs That Should Not Be Charged, Parked Near Other Cars or Structures

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP has filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California on behalf of Plaintiff Scott A. Olsen and other owners of 2017 to 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (“PHEVs”).

The lawsuit alleges that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (“Chrysler”) sold defective minivans that are at risk of exploding or catching fire, resulting in immediate danger to the vehicles’ occupants and the property surrounding the vehicles.

As detailed in the complaint, Chrysler issued a “safety recall report” on February 11, 2022, for the 16,741 PHEV minivans it manufactured between August 12, 2016 (when production started) and August 7, 2018, that were sold in the United States – the “safety recall report” did not physically recall the vehicles. Instead, it stated that “the Company is advising owners of these hybrid vehicles to refrain from recharging them, and to park them away from structures and other vehicles.”

Plaintiff Scott A. Olsen of Chula Vista states: “I purchased a Pacifica in 2018 in order to safely transport my disabled son, Steven. Now I basically have a ticking car bomb that Chrysler is not taking back, and which Chrysler tells me not to charge and not to park near other cars and not to park near my home or any other structure. This is a crazy situation. I filed suit because Chrysler needs to take responsibility for the unsafe minivans today – not next week – not a month from now – today. It is a matter of public safety.”

Niall McCarthy of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, the law firm representing Mr. Olsen, said: “The vehicles have been rendered largely unusable, with no automatic fix. Consumers should not be ones to pay for Chrysler’s mistake.”

Anne Marie Murphy of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, added: “This is Chrysler’s second time recalling its Pacifica Hybrids—the first recall was a response to another fire-related problem back in 2020; these vehicles can catch fire any second, making them anything but a safe family minivan.”

Veena Bhatia, also of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, noted that: “The danger these fires pose to consumers is extremely negligent and unacceptable, consumers are essentially left with a ticking time bomb that they can’t park in their driveway and which they are advised can’t be parked next to other cars.”

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