Is Model Year 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Production Halted For Good?

3 months ago by Steven Loveday 29

2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

A recall has caused FCA to halt production on its all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.  Has it restarted for real?

Through mid-June, Chrysler sold 1,677 Pacifica Hybrids thus far in the U.S. and Canada, and every last one of them is part of a voluntary recall by the automaker. Wall Street Journal reported that the plant in Ontario has stopped making the Pacifica Hybrid for an unspecified amount of time, as FCA is working through the issue.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid interior.

A few weeks back, FCA came forward with information that the vehicles were suffering a sudden power loss. Fortunately, the automaker has already figured out the cause of the issue. It is being blamed on a faulty inverter diodes on the battery. However, the fix is difficult and loss of propulsion is a significant safety issue for drivers. According to WSJ, until FCA can be sure that this is the only problem, and establish plans and procedures for a fix, there won’t be any Pacifica Hybrids manufactured. Of course, FCA never verified this information.

Being that the Pacifica, and especially the plug-in version, is Chrysler’s biggest debut in some time, this is terrible news. It also doesn’t help public confidence in the EV segment, since many people may have been going with a plug-in for the first time. The Pacifica Hybrid is the first plug-in hybrid minivan, and since it qualifies for the full U.S. federal rebate, it only costs about $5,000 more that its gas counterpart. Figure in the efficiency savings, and virtually no maintenance, and it’s an exceptional offering for families. That is … if you can actually get one.

In Ontario, Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid buyers get a whopping $14,000 off, making the plug-in model only about $3,600 more than the ICE version. Quebec offers an $8,000 rebate, and British Columbia offers $5,000.

Buyers have already had to wait longer than expected, and FCA has attempted to pacify them by offering a $500 Visa gift card or a free Level 2 EV charger. Dealerships have also been feeling the pain with unhappy, impatient customers.  A Chrysler dealer told WSJ that FCA has a bad reputation when it comes to launching new products, and this is proof of that statement. The fact that the company’s PR reps are unwilling to verify any information complicates the issue.

Vehicle deliveries are already backlogged and the list has grown. Having to fix 1,677 vehicles, and possibly not producing any additional units in the meantime will compound the situation. Waymo has only received 100 of the 600 Pacifica Hybrids that it ordered for use as its autonomous technology testing vehicles.

Regardless of all of this, FCA assures that every order will eventually be filled. According to Automotive News, production was only down for a few days, and that the Ontario plant is already making more 2017 vehicles. However, FCA hasn’t made this information official either, and a there’s catch. Since FCA continues to say that it has no information to add, and refuses to answer any questions, it’s hard to know what’s going on. Added to this, the moment we get some new information, it changes.

Get all that?

According to our inside sources, this is the way we currently understand what is actually happening these days with the Pacifica Hybrid (Chrysler is notorious for not even disclosing the most finite of details … even if it is for their benefit):

Pacifica Hybrid production has, in fact, restarted on some level, but Chrysler is done with new 2017 orders and inventory runs. The only production currently underway is an attempt to fill “old”  2017 orders from customers and fleets. New production for the Pacifica Hybrid will not begin until the 2018 model year, which fortunately should begin on  August 7, 2017. So, FCA is correct in saying that it plans to fill all orders, eventually. If you want a new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, we believe that it will come months down the road (~September), as a 2018 model.

If we are able to secure any more official details, or new news becomes available, we of course pass it along.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, The Drive, Automotive News

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29 responses to "Is Model Year 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Production Halted For Good?"

  1. Breezy says:

    This sounds about right. Plant sources are reporting that production has been back online for a week or so, with Waymo’s remaining 500 vans first in line. Customers are saying they’re being told their vans will be produced starting next week. There’s a plant shutdown for two weeks starting July 10.

    1. Michael Will says:

      Why ‘virtually no maintenance’ on a plugin hybrid ? It still got the gas engine

      1. Breezy says:

        The gas engine requires virtually no maintenance: You’re supposed to take it in at least once a year for an oil change and replace the air filter every three years or so. Minivans tend to be hard on brakes, but the PacHy’s last longer because of regen.

        1. unlucky says:

          That’s normal levels of maintenance.

          1. ArkansasVolt says:

            I have to change my oil every 4-5 months in my honda. air filters galore: i guess it is dirtier in rural arkansas. and my brake pads are already looking worn pretty low at 25k miles. 🙁 bring on the pacifica hybrid.

            1. Rob Stark says:

              The front brakes on my 2003 Honda Accord lasted 110k miles. Never changed the rear drum brakes.

              I used to change the oil with Penzoil Platinum and Mobil 1 extended life oil filter purchased at Wal Mart once per year.

              I changed the serpentine belt and spark plugs at 120k miles. Never changed the water pump. Changed the radiator,power steering,and brake fluid once in 200k miles before I sold it.

              The idea that every new ICE car has the same maintenance as a 1975 Lotus Esprit is pure nonsense.

          2. Breezy says:

            No, it isn’t, for any ICE minivan driven regularly. I own a 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan that requires normal levels of maintenance.

  2. SparkEV says:

    This van was way too good to be coming from FCA (Fix Car Again). It will take Chevy to do it right, hopefully they are planning something. It’s a very good opportunity now.

    1. floydboy says:

      Maybe FCA are improving, like Chevy did.

    2. William says:

      FCA (Faulty Car Association), back to their beta testing public ways. This company doesn’t have what it takes, to get out of the gate with out a PHEV van glitch. Hope they can find a workaround, that can make their PHEV segment, something the public can drive with some modicum of safety.

    3. Tom says:

      GM stopped making minivans years ago because theirs was terrible. Ever watch a crash test of a Pontiac minivan? It will make you shiver.

      They improved but never figured out how to make a van that was safe or not insanely ugly.

      1. SparkEV says:

        Dateline that used explosives to blow up some car to report how unsafe it was. But yeah, GM minivans were not all that safe.

        GM was never good at hybrids before Volt, and look what a wonderful job they did. If they put their mind to it, they can make some good cars.

        I still love my Astro van. It’s only one of its kind (mini van) that can carry 4×8 sheets of plywood inside without moving the seats forward _and_ it can tow over 5000 lb. There was AWD version, too.

        If GM can improve the safety of Astro, put Voltec to drive the front wheels and Bolt motor for rear, that would be one awesome PH van!

  3. bro1999 says:

    This has to be one of the worst-botched EV launches in history from a major manufacturer.

    Luckily, since FCA called in the “Pacifica Hybrid” as opposed to the “Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid”, Joe Schmoe may actually not even know the Pacifica Hybrid is actually a plug-in.

    So if anything, it may just taint gas-hybrid cars and hinder their sales.

    1. Taylor S Marks says:

      *cough*EV1*cough*

      1. bro1999 says:

        I believe the launch went fine. It was the stuff that happened after that was the problem. 😛

        1. wavelet says:

          What launch? The EV1 was never a commercial product, just a large scale pilot program.

    2. F150 Brian says:

      *cough* Model X *cough*

      Ah, but Tesla is not a major auto manufacturer.

      What was your point again?????

  4. fred says:

    Hopefully they’ll allow towing with the 2018 model year.

    No towing allowed with Pacifica Hybrid is an unnecessary restriction that ruins its usability for my family unfortunately.

    1. Breezy says:

      It will probably never officially support towing, although it should be quite capable of towing the 3600 lbs that the gas Pacifica is rated for. Some people have installed hitches on their Hybrids, supposedly “just for bike racks.”

    2. Tom says:

      I’m just going to go out on a limb here and suggest this is the first time they’ve launched such a product and those tend to have issues so they are kind of hoping to get some real world data in before telling you to beat the tar out of one. I’d think after a year or so with kinks worked out, they’ll endorse towing.

  5. Gary says:

    A major goof in the story – the Hybrid costs LESS than a similarly equipped ICE version.
    Hybrid Platinum with Sunroof = $47,885
    Limited with Uconnect Theater, Advanced Safety Tech & KeySense = $46,425
    After the $7,500 Tax credit, the hybrid is over $6,000 LESS than the ICE version.

    Granted, there are some differences between the two (HID vs Halogen, Stow and go seats, etc), but for similarly equipped vehicles, the hybrid version costs less. This is also true on other plug-ins like the Prius Prime.

    1. unlucky says:

      The story didn’t say similarly equipped. Not everyone wants the top end model of a vehicle.

      1. F150 Brian says:

        But one would assume that it’s a fair comparison.

        They should have said “… more than a base model” if that is what they meant.

    2. MTmace says:

      The Platinum is similarly equipped with the Touring L Plus not the Limited

  6. pjwood1 says:

    FCA should clarify, then fix “1,677” vehicles. This isn’t Takata.

    1. Tom says:

      Pretty sure they can find some new components and get them back on the road. Probably some third rate supplier somewhere on a $2 part.

  7. Don Zenga says:

    What will be the mindset of those engineers who worked on Pacifica Hybrid when the company’s CEO says

    “Don’t buy the electric vehicles we sell”.

    Hope they start producing Pacifica Hybrid MY-2018 soon. Ideally this should have been name Pacifica Plugin.

  8. Kan says:

    Bravo FCC! This is what happens when you staff your engineering department with Silicon Valley rejects.

  9. Phr≡d says:

    pity.
    clear and present Interest in a vehicle that Could repeat the original minivan stardom.

    as Tom mentioned – possibly lost on a $2 outsourced LCD/lowest bidder part.

    Fiat’s reputation to be continued..

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