Since I started the thread, I thought I would give an update on my situation. I finally took it to the dealership for ESS check and also some recall work that I was notified of through the mail. They did a battery load test on both batteries (cranking battery and the smaller ESS batter). Turns out they were both a little low. They were replaced under warranty. I drove out of the dealership with the same message on the dash "ESS Unavailable. Battery charging" (or something similar). But, after a few miles, the ESS battery was fully charged and the system became available. ESS has worked properly since then. I guess even if they are new, the batteries need a little bit of topping off after they are installed to go back to 100%.
Silver 2018 Pacifica Touring Plus
S Appearance Package