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What is your action plan for handling the 2017-18 Pacifica Hybrid Battery Fire Recall?

  • Exactly what Chrysler says (park in the street, never charge and wait for the fix)

    Votes: 15 17.4%
  • No change, park and use as I have for years now

    Votes: 35 40.7%
  • Take some precautions (don’t charge but keep in garage, charge on the street, …) and wait for a fix

    Votes: 25 29.1%
  • Sell the Pacifica and get something else

    Votes: 11 12.8%
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People are freaking out WAY too much over this.

If this was a major problem there would have been Waymos in the news already.
 
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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
People are freaking out WAY too much over this.
I would reference this post, to remind everyone how serious this can be. By nature I'm a pretty laid back guy and my initial reaction was to wait and get a free / brand new battery. But then when I thought about how I would feel, if I ignored the warning and we lost our van, our house, a pet, and/or even a family member, then I made the decision not to wait and get out, rather than sit on a potentially ticking time bomb.
 

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I would reference this post, to remind everyone how serious this can be. By nature I'm a pretty laid back guy and my initial reaction was to wait and get a free / brand new battery. But then when I thought about how I would feel, if I ignored the warning and we lost our van, our house, a pet, and/or even a family member, then I made the decision not to wait and get out, rather than sit on a potentially ticking time bomb.
This could happen with almost any vehicle at almost any time. There’s something like 160,000+ vehicle fires a year in the U.S. alone! Your PacHy may have a slightly increased risk at the moment. But ticking time bomb? Hardly. And this risk will definitely be mitigated, either buy a legit fix or a complete buyback.
 

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This could happen with almost any vehicle at almost any time. There’s something like 160,000+ vehicle fires a year in the U.S. alone! Your PacHy may have a slightly increased risk at the moment. But ticking time bomb? Hardly. And this risk will definitely be mitigated, either buy a legit fix or a complete buyback.
Will driving with less fuel (say 2-3 gallons) mitigate the size/impact of fire? Assuming owner continues to charge the vehicle and short trips are mostly electric.
 

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Will driving with less fuel (say 2-3 gallons) mitigate the size/impact of fire? Assuming owner continues to charge the vehicle and short trips are mostly electric.
Yes of course, but that's always the case. The incidence of fire for these hybrid's affected by the recall is very similar to that of all vehicles as a whole.
 

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Will driving with less fuel (say 2-3 gallons) mitigate the size/impact of fire? Assuming owner continues to charge the vehicle and short trips are mostly electric.
Vehicles have lots of stuff that’s happy to burn. I mean a full tank of gas won’t help. But a vehicle on its own will happily burn down to a bare body.
 

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Update from my side (nothing new from Chrysler)

Just got a call from Chrysler customer care, saying that there is an option for rental reimbursement and as a courtesy $100 gift card. The same offer was given to me a month ago so nothing has changed since then.

They confirmed that the following options are not available yet:
1. Daily compensation (say $x/day) until the problem is fixed. This will keep Chrysler on toes as well to close the recall asap.
2. Parking the car at a dealer lot while I use a rental option. I have parking space for either the van or rental car not both.
3. Reimburse me for renting an open lot where I park the van and use the rental option.

It seems like I can't do much but just wait till Chrysler finds a solution and fixes the problem. This is probably my first and last Chrysler purchase.
 

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Update from my side (nothing new from Chrysler)

Just got a call from Chrysler customer care, saying that there is an option for rental reimbursement and as a courtesy $100 gift card. The same offer was given to me a month ago so nothing has changed since then.

They confirmed that the following options are not available yet:
1. Daily compensation (say $x/day) until the problem is fixed. This will keep Chrysler on toes as well to close the recall asap.
2. Parking the car at a dealer lot while I use a rental option. I have parking space for either the van or rental car not both.
3. Reimburse me for renting an open lot where I park the van and use the rental option.

It seems like I can't do much but just wait till Chrysler finds a solution and fixes the problem. This is probably my first and last Chrysler purchase.
Totally agree - worst experience about car and brand ever, for such big amount of money. They just fooled us - we just bought regular gas Pacifica twice as expensive with additional option to blow up in any time.
 

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Totally agree - worst experience about car and brand ever, for such big amount of money. They just fooled us - we just bought regular gas Pacifica twice as expensive with additional option to blow up in any time.
I say Chrysler has shot themselves in the foot on this one. They dilly dallied around for too long hoping the problem would go away or would be a simple fix. So now they have no official answer for why a few of the vans have burnt up and now the NTSB is hounding them. So, they send out a CYA “recall” letter which is not really a recall because they would have nothing to do with the van if it was recalled. They only “recalled” 2017-2018 models and they know precisely what the differences are between these years and the later models so they should be able to pinpoint the problem. My guess is that the “recall” will eventually be extended to later years as well.
Despite all of this, the statistics show so far that the chances of having a problem with your van are relatively minuscule. Every time we drive any vehicle we take a calculated risk that nothing catastrophic will happen. If you seriously don’t think you should drive your van right now then maybe you should start looking at other risky activities in your life and start making changes. What is your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, cancer, tripping on a crack in the sidewalk and breaking your neck?
 

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I say Chrysler has shot themselves in the foot on this one. They dilly dallied around for too long hoping the problem would go away or would be a simple fix. So now they have no official answer for why a few of the vans have burnt up and now the NTSB is hounding them. So, they send out a CYA “recall” letter which is not really a recall because they would have nothing to do with the van if it was recalled. They only “recalled” 2017-2018 models and they know precisely what the differences are between these years and the later models so they should be able to pinpoint the problem. My guess is that the “recall” will eventually be extended to later years as well.
Despite all of this, the statistics show so far that the chances of having a problem with your van are relatively minuscule. Every time we drive any vehicle we take a calculated risk that nothing catastrophic will happen. If you seriously don’t think you should drive your van right now then maybe you should start looking at other risky activities in your life and start making changes. What is your risk of having a heart attack, stroke, cancer, tripping on a crack in the sidewalk and breaking your neck?
The complaint here is not about having a recall but the way it is being handled. Two months with no solution or timeline shared with their customers.

Driving any car is a risk but if there is a known issue the company has the responsibility to fix it in a timely manner. Toyota took a lot of heat for loose floor mats. This is clearly way worse.
 

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The complaint here is not about having a recall but the way it is being handled. Two months with no solution or timeline shared with their customers.

Driving any car is a risk but if there is a known issue the company has the responsibility to fix it in a timely manner. Toyota took a lot of heat for loose floor mats. This is clearly way worse.
Not worse. The Toyota floor mat issue killed people. This issue has destroyed some property, but hasn’t killed anyone yet.
 

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The recall is for the Hybrids....not the gas version
He’s saying that the recall has turned his hybrid into a regular gas Pacifica (since he isn’t supposed to charge it) that’s more expensive and can blow up.
 

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There is little understanding of how a battery works being discussed on this thread. Remember the Samsung Galaxy V cell phone, or the hoverboards that burst into flames while charging. Maybe some of you are old enough to remember all the hub-bub about "super conductors" and how they were going to change the world. The battery technology in the Pachy is more than 60 years old, the reason we can use it today is because we have found ways to dissipate the massive amount of heat that the battery generates when either charging or discharging. A basic premise of physics is that you cannot transfer energy without generating heat. The heat must be transferred and dissipated or it will accumulate until it ignites materials in the high temperature zone. The entire future of EVs is based in the ability to transfer heat rapidly (super conductors) and dissipate it (cooling fluids and heat sinks). The faster the electricity (or energy) is transferred, in the case of a battery, either charging or discharging, the faster the heat accumulates and the more extravagant the method needed to move the heat from the point of generation to the place where it can be safely dispersed. Failure of this "cooling" process will result in combustion. I think much of the problem is the desire to rapidly charge the battery after it has been heavily used. Do you own a cordless drill, read the book that came with it, it probably has a danger symbol that says do not charge battery immediately after heavy use, allow time for battery to cool down before charging. The reverse is also true, heavy use of the battery immediately after a rapid charge. Both of these scenarios compound the heat generated and make a failure of the cooling system more likely. If you are worried about spontaneous combustion based on the cooling systems inability to prevent heat build up I recommend several things.

1) Whenever possible always use the slow charger (120 V) that came with your vehicle. (the slower the battery is charged, the slower the heat builds up and the easier it is for the cooling system to dissipate the heat)
2) After hard use of the battery, allow time for it to cool before charging. (this is recommended for all batteries of every type and can extend the life of the batteries, while Li Ion batteries are more resistant to this type of ageing they are not impervious to it).
3) If you use a rapid charger (level 2 or above) allow time after the charge is complete for the battery to cool before driving. (this is more simple than it sounds as high tech chargers will turn off once the battery signals full capacity, so even though still plugged in, the battery is already in the cool down stage once it turns the charger off).
 

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There is little understanding of how a battery works being discussed on this thread. Remember the Samsung Galaxy V cell phone, or the hoverboards that burst into flames while charging. Maybe some of you are old enough to remember all the hub-bub about "super conductors" and how they were going to change the world. The battery technology in the Pachy is more than 60 years old, the reason we can use it today is because we have found ways to dissipate the massive amount of heat that the battery generates when either charging or discharging. A basic premise of physics is that you cannot transfer energy without generating heat. The heat must be transferred and dissipated or it will accumulate until it ignites materials in the high temperature zone. The entire future of EVs is based in the ability to transfer heat rapidly (super conductors) and dissipate it (cooling fluids and heat sinks). The faster the electricity (or energy) is transferred, in the case of a battery, either charging or discharging, the faster the heat accumulates and the more extravagant the method needed to move the heat from the point of generation to the place where it can be safely dispersed. Failure of this "cooling" process will result in combustion. I think much of the problem is the desire to rapidly charge the battery after it has been heavily used. Do you own a cordless drill, read the book that came with it, it probably has a danger symbol that says do not charge battery immediately after heavy use, allow time for battery to cool down before charging. The reverse is also true, heavy use of the battery immediately after a rapid charge. Both of these scenarios compound the heat generated and make a failure of the cooling system more likely. If you are worried about spontaneous combustion based on the cooling systems inability to prevent heat build up I recommend several things.

1) Whenever possible always use the slow charger (120 V) that came with your vehicle. (the slower the battery is charged, the slower the heat builds up and the easier it is for the cooling system to dissipate the heat)
2) After hard use of the battery, allow time for it to cool before charging. (this is recommended for all batteries of every type and can extend the life of the batteries, while Li Ion batteries are more resistant to this type of ageing they are not impervious to it).
3) If you use a rapid charger (level 2 or above) allow time after the charge is complete for the battery to cool before driving. (this is more simple than it sounds as high tech chargers will turn off once the battery signals full capacity, so even though still plugged in, the battery is already in the cool down stage once it turns the charger off).
I think most of this, while having a kernel of truth, is not applicable to the current crop of high voltage battery systems and the associated cooling systems, maybe unless you have a Nissan Leaf. But batteries that have active heating and cooling systems just don’t suffer problems like that, and if the battery gets too hot or too cold, the whole high voltage system gets disabled. The recommendation to only use the L1 charging cord is honestly silly. Charging at L2 is not stressing or causing excess heating in the battery. It’s just not. In the PacHy, 6.6kW just isn’t enough power to cause a heat event. If you look at something like a Tesla, when you navigate to a Supercharger, it’s preconditioning the battery pack for charging. In most cases that means it’s actually heating it up. They shoot for 30-40C for supercharging at 50kW+. 6.6kW charging just isn’t causing high heat. I’m not even convinced the PacHy uses it’s battery cooling pump in most circumstances when charging. If it is running, it’s running extremely slowly. The power electronics loop definitely runs during charging, but unless the ambient temperature is very high, I don’t think it’s running the battery loop. You can also feel the battery coolant reservoir after charging. If the battery was dumping lots of heat, that reservoir would also be very warm because the orifice line coming in the top is tapped right after the battery outlet and before the inter loop heat exchanger. But I’ve yet to feel much heat in that reservoir ever. And please define hard use. What does that even mean?

And the Samsung battery issue was caused by battery manufacturing problems and a bad design of the phone case itself. Not overheating.
 

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I think most of this, while having a kernel of truth, is not applicable to the current crop of high voltage battery systems and the associated cooling systems, maybe unless you have a Nissan Leaf. But batteries that have active heating and cooling systems just don’t suffer problems like that, and if the battery gets too hot or too cold, the whole high voltage system gets disabled. The recommendation to only use the L1 charging cord is honestly silly. Charging at L2 is not stressing or causing excess heating in the battery. It’s just not. In the PacHy, 6.6kW just isn’t enough power to cause a heat event. If you look at something like a Tesla, when you navigate to a Supercharger, it’s preconditioning the battery pack for charging. In most cases that means it’s actually heating it up. They shoot for 30-40C for supercharging at 50kW+. 6.6kW charging just isn’t causing high heat. I’m not even convinced the PacHy uses it’s battery cooling pump in most circumstances when charging. If it is running, it’s running extremely slowly. The power electronics loop definitely runs during charging, but unless the ambient temperature is very high, I don’t think it’s running the battery loop. You can also feel the battery coolant reservoir after charging. If the battery was dumping lots of heat, that reservoir would also be very warm because the orifice line coming in the top is tapped right after the battery outlet and before the inter loop heat exchanger. But I’ve yet to feel much heat in that reservoir ever. And please define hard use. What does that even mean?

And the Samsung battery issue was caused by battery manufacturing problems and a bad design of the phone case itself. Not overheating.
Yeah, I would imagine that charging the HV battery in two hours is not any more stressful on the batteries than charging your cellphone in two hours. And you don’t hear a lot about cellphones burning up because of overcharging.

You’ve gotta believe there are numerous temperature sensors in the battery pack which can moderate how much of a charge the battery is given.
 

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I think most of this, while having a kernel of truth, is not applicable to the current crop of high voltage battery systems and the associated cooling systems, maybe unless you have a Nissan Leaf. But batteries that have active heating and cooling systems just don’t suffer problems like that, and if the battery gets too hot or too cold, the whole high voltage system gets disabled. The recommendation to only use the L1 charging cord is honestly silly. Charging at L2 is not stressing or causing excess heating in the battery. It’s just not. In the PacHy, 6.6kW just isn’t enough power to cause a heat event. If you look at something like a Tesla, when you navigate to a Supercharger, it’s preconditioning the battery pack for charging. In most cases that means it’s actually heating it up. They shoot for 30-40C for supercharging at 50kW+. 6.6kW charging just isn’t causing high heat. I’m not even convinced the PacHy uses it’s battery cooling pump in most circumstances when charging. If it is running, it’s running extremely slowly. The power electronics loop definitely runs during charging, but unless the ambient temperature is very high, I don’t think it’s running the battery loop. You can also feel the battery coolant reservoir after charging. If the battery was dumping lots of heat, that reservoir would also be very warm because the orifice line coming in the top is tapped right after the battery outlet and before the inter loop heat exchanger. But I’ve yet to feel much heat in that reservoir ever. And please define hard use. What does that even mean?

And the Samsung battery issue was caused by battery manufacturing problems and a bad design of the phone case itself. Not overheating.
The design of a battery is basic. It will not store a charge if the plates are not specifically aligned and spaced. The failure is almost never in the heart of this process but in the containment and dissipation designed in the casing. Some electrolytic processes will make a flammable gas but the the Li Ion technology does not. You cannot have a fire or combustion of any type with out heat. The heat is always the culprit and the problem is always in the control system that dissipated the heat. Poor design, not planning for rare or unforeseen conditions is what keeps engineers up at night. But even when risks are known the company can decide the possibility is so minimal that it will accept the risk rather than make expensive, bulky design changes for something that most likely will never happen. You are over simplifying the risk if you think the technological safe guards will always protect you. Parts fail, they get old and are not maintained, and especially on moving equipment in they get shocked and broken. Oh and by the way, on a hot summer day the cooling system on our Pachy 2020 sometimes sounds like a large drone taking off when the battery is charging.
On the Samsung phone the problem was heat accumulation in the battery casing that was not dissipated. On the hoverboards the findings were poorly insulated leads that lost the insulation and shorted out (creating excessive heat) and igniting the surrounding materials.
 

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Under driving conditions the charge/discharge currents (which are responsible for battery heating) are far greater than those of charging.
I have have not seen any data indicating that the fire risk is greater during charging - the Chrysler suggestion to not charge is most probably based on caution and not data.
 
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