2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums banner

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%
101 - 120 of 125 Posts

·
Registered
2021 Pacifica Hybrid Touring-L Plus
Joined
·
755 Posts
This is largely engineering yoga babble but I'll try to look at some of the actual claims.

The heat is always the culprit and the problem is always in the control system that dissipated the heat.
Source for this claim? This just isn't true. You can't make a heat removal system that will be able to handle a battery cell that has shorted out. Its too much energy in too short a time. You can try to direct the results of the reaction to give people enough time to react. But you aren't going to stop a cell that has shorted from going nuclear.

The failure is almost never in the heart of this process but in the containment and dissipation designed in the casing.
Well basically all the automotive battery issues we have seen are due to physical defects.

Hyundai - bad cells from LG (although LG disputes some of that. They dispute it while basically also paying for the recall.)

Chevy Bolt - physical defects in the LG cells that could lead to a fire.

In both cases it wasn't heat that was the cause. Heat was an after effect of a defective cell that shorted and rapidly discharged. Your cause and effect are backward. Cooling isn't a fix for a physical defect.

On the Samsung phone the problem was heat accumulation in the battery casing that was not dissipated.
No it wasn't.


It was battery defects. Bent negative electrodes, and welding burrs on the positive electrode that pierced insulation. And the case design was so tight that when the battery was charged there was no room for it to expand, which could then lead these defects to discharge the cell. Again the result was a whole bunch of heat as the result, but not the cause.

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.
I'm sure it does, but the ambient temperature must also be quite high at the same time to lead to this. This is expected behaviour and exactly what you want it to do. But that heat removal is largely not an issue of the battery being charged. It's the ambient conditions that have heated the battery, not the charging process. Its the very hot road you've been driving over or the very hot driveway you're parking on. Not the charging process. Otherwise you'd hear the van cooling the battery during charging all the time, which just isn't the case unless the ambient conditions are very warm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
This is largely engineering yoga babble but I'll try to look at some of the actual claims.


Source for this claim? This just isn't true. You can't make a heat removal system that will be able to handle a battery cell that has shorted out. Its too much energy in too short a time. You can try to direct the results of the reaction to give people enough time to react. But you aren't going to stop a cell that has shorted from going nuclear.


Well basically all the automotive battery issues we have seen are due to physical defects.

Hyundai - bad cells from LG (although LG disputes some of that. They dispute it while basically also paying for the recall.)

Chevy Bolt - physical defects in the LG cells that could lead to a fire.

In both cases it wasn't heat that was the cause. Heat was an after effect of a defective cell that shorted and rapidly discharged. Your cause and effect are backward. Cooling isn't a fix for a physical defect.


No it wasn't.


It was battery defects. Bent negative electrodes, and welding burrs on the positive electrode that pierced insulation. And the case design was so tight that when the battery was charged there was no room for it to expand, which could then lead these defects to discharge the cell. Again the result was a whole bunch of heat as the result, but not the cause.


I'm sure it does, but the ambient temperature must also be quite high at the same time to lead to this. This is expected behaviour and exactly what you want it to do. But that heat removal is largely not an issue of the battery being charged. It's the ambient conditions that have heated the battery, not the charging process. Its the very hot road you've been driving over or the very hot driveway you're parking on. Not the charging process. Otherwise you'd hear the van cooling the battery during charging all the time, which just isn't the case unless the ambient conditions are very warm.
Right from the Samsung article you sent me.
"According to the findings, the problems centred on insufficient insulation material within the batteries and a design that did not give enough room to safely accommodate the batteries' electrodes. " Translated as poor containment and cheap insulation. I think that's what I said...

Once more...you cannot have combustion without heat. Where does the heat come from? What allows it to "accumulate" to the point of being excessive? Fires are always started from poor insulation (allowing heat to penetrate into materials that have a low flash point) or a heat generation rate greater than can be dissipated. If you refuse to see these basic laws of physics I can't help you. My three rules stand for those who are worried about spontaneous ignition of the battery while charging.
 

·
Registered
2021 Pacifica Hybrid Touring-L Plus
Joined
·
755 Posts
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.
Thats what you said. “The failure is almost never in the heart of this process…..” Well in the Samsung case, it was that process. Not a heat from charging problem. Physical manufacturing defect. No battery insulation or “containment” could stop a short causing a thermal event.

As for “You cannot have combustion without heat…….” I don’t even know what to say to that whole statement. More babble. And your charging recommendations are just spreading FUD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Thats what you said. “The failure is almost never in the heart of this process…..” Well in the Samsung case, it was that process. Not a heat from charging problem. Physical manufacturing defect. No battery insulation or “containment” could stop a short causing a thermal event.

As for “You cannot have combustion without heat…….” I don’t even know what to say to that whole statement. More babble. And your charging recommendations are just spreading FUD.
I have to agree with that. I have personally seen a few small lithium-ion battery fires. In each of those few cases the heat was not a byproduct of the charging. It was an accidental shorting of the battery. The heat was so intense that I doubt that any kind of reasonable containment or insulation would have stopped the battery from burning and being consumed. I’m pretty sure that most lithium battery packs have sensors to manage the heat from charging so that the charging will not continue if the pack overheats.

Almost every resource I’ve seen recommends a charging rate of .5 to 1 C which result in a 2-3 hour charging time. Even using a 30A level 2 EVSE seems to stay within those bounds which are commonly used for all sorts of devices which use lithium batteries. Certainly the engineers understand that concept and certainly they must monitor the temperature of a battery pack to know if it is not being cooled enough during charging. I am more inclined to think that the problem, if it is in the batteries/charging system itself, is a physical defect which is causing a cell to short. The resulting heat which cannot be managed because it’s not caused by charging or normal discharging overwhelms the cell. The heat from that one defective cell then compromises the protection of surrounding cells and a thermal runaway starts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Right from the Samsung article you sent me.
"According to the findings, the problems centred on insufficient insulation material within the batteries and a design that did not give enough room to safely accommodate the batteries' electrodes. " Translated as poor containment and cheap insulation. I think that's what I said...
It’s interesting that you mentioned that “the problems centered on insufficient insulation material within the batteries”. Perhaps that refers to electrical insulation, not heat insulation. It seems that the lack of sufficient electrical insulation and the fact that the electrodes were not given enough room for expansion from normal heating and cooling along with a defective weld that had a burr on it is what caused the problem. It seems to me that the heat which caused the destruction of these batteries came from internal shorting and was not necessarily caused by the charging process.

As you mentioned before, heat is a normal byproduct of any charging/discharging process. This causes a certain amount of expansion and contraction when cells are either charged or discharged and then return to ambient temperature. I would imagine that this even occurs without charging and discharging and can be based simply upon changes in ambient temperature. So now you have a sharp metal edge (burr) which is pressing against a piece of thin insulation. In essence, with changes in temperature or perhaps even physical vibration, that sharp edge eventually cuts through or pierces the electrical insulation. This allows two pieces of unequal voltage potential to contact one another. The battery discharges abnormally and generates extreme heat. I doubt that any amount of insulation or containment will keep that heat from destroying that cell or even a neighboring cell which has no defect. Once the neighboring cell is compromised by the extreme heat it does the same thing and you have a runaway on your hands.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
I'm sure it does, but the ambient temperature must also be quite high at the same time to lead to this. This is expected behaviour and exactly what you want it to do. But that heat removal is largely not an issue of the battery being charged. It's the ambient conditions that have heated the battery, not the charging process. Its the very hot road you've been driving over or the very hot driveway you're parking on. Not the charging process. Otherwise you'd hear the van cooling the battery during charging all the time, which just isn't the case unless the ambient conditions are very warm.
[/QUOTE]
This is largely engineering yoga babble but I'll try to look at some of the actual claims.


Source for this claim? This just isn't true. You can't make a heat removal system that will be able to handle a battery cell that has shorted out. Its too much energy in too short a time. You can try to direct the results of the reaction to give people enough time to react. But you aren't going to stop a cell that has shorted from going nuclear.


Well basically all the automotive battery issues we have seen are due to physical defects.

Hyundai - bad cells from LG (although LG disputes some of that. They dispute it while basically also paying for the recall.)

Chevy Bolt - physical defects in the LG cells that could lead to a fire.

In both cases it wasn't heat that was the cause. Heat was an after effect of a defective cell that shorted and rapidly discharged. Your cause and effect are backward. Cooling isn't a fix for a physical defect.


No it wasn't.


It was battery defects. Bent negative electrodes, and welding burrs on the positive electrode that pierced insulation. And the case design was so tight that when the battery was charged there was no room for it to expand, which could then lead these defects to discharge the cell. Again the result was a whole bunch of heat as the result, but not the cause.


I'm sure it does, but the ambient temperature must also be quite high at the same time to lead to this. This is expected behaviour and exactly what you want it to do. But that heat removal is largely not an issue of the battery being charged. It's the ambient conditions that have heated the battery, not the charging process. Its the very hot road you've been driving over or the very hot driveway you're parking on. Not the charging process. Otherwise you'd hear the van cooling the battery during charging all the time, which just isn't the case unless the ambient conditions are very warm.
That would also make you question Chrysler’s suggestion to store the van outside away from buildings, etc. I would imagine that storing it outside as opposed to in a garage would expose the battery pack to greater swings in ambient temperature on a daily basis. In reality, if the batteries have defects it would seem that this could actually hasten the process by which the shorts occur in the batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
It’s interesting that you mentioned that “the problems centered on insufficient insulation material within the batteries”. Perhaps that refers to electrical insulation, not heat insulation. It seems that the lack of sufficient electrical insulation and the fact that the electrodes were not given enough room for expansion from normal heating and cooling along with a defective weld that had a burr on it is what caused the problem. It seems to me that the heat which caused the destruction of these batteries came from internal shorting and was not necessarily caused by the charging process.

As you mentioned before, heat is a normal byproduct of any charging/discharging process. This causes a certain amount of expansion and contraction when cells are either charged or discharged and then return to ambient temperature. I would imagine that this even occurs without charging and discharging and can be based simply upon changes in ambient temperature. So now you have a sharp metal edge (burr) which is pressing against a piece of thin insulation. In essence, with changes in temperature or perhaps even physical vibration, that sharp edge eventually cuts through or pierces the electrical insulation. This allows two pieces of unequal voltage potential to contact one another. The battery discharges abnormally and generates extreme heat. I doubt that any amount of insulation or containment will keep that heat from destroying that cell or even a neighboring cell which has no defect. Once the neighboring cell is compromised by the extreme heat it does the same thing and you have a runaway on your hands.
Yes. You are correct in what you say, but I will point out that in the BBC article about the failure of the Samsung batteries they clearly showed in a drawing that the plates touched at the edge or end of the stack, past the point of the last spacer. This type of battery is similar in construction, metal plates stacked on top on each other(in the case of Li Ion it is lithium plates) thinly spaced and held apart by non-conductive spacers surrounded by a fluid that acts as a electrolyte. If the charged plates touch at any point there is a short and causes the point of contact to short out the two plates, essentially making the two plates turn into one plate reducing the capacity of the battery and causing that "cell" to go dead. The original design for this type of battery was the Pb acid type. Still the most common battery today, the plates are arranged in stacks of vertically positioned plates which rarely touch unless there is a hard impact to the case (dropping or an accident). The newer batteries used in cars stack the plates horizontally (same as phones and other electronics like hoverboards). There is no insulation between these plates, only spacers that keep equal distance between each plate and allow the fluid to circulate in-between. The failure of the Samsung showed the plates being either compressed or sagging so that at the end of the stack, past the last spacer the spacing of the plates started to change, getting closer to each other. Not a contact or a short but a near miss, so the "cell" didn't short and die, it continued to charge but leaked the charge from positive to ground and here is where the increase in heat production is critical in an internal battery failure. Heat and fatigue influence the plates to sag (because they are placed vertically), the plates are often constructed with corrugations to fight against this effect. The fluid in the battery contains the heat and will ignite at 336 F. The cooling system is designed to remove the heat and keep the battery at a safe operating temperature but can only be so efficient (the super conductors increase this efficiency). This heat of electrical generation and discharge is also transferred through the battery ports and wiring harness. Wiring insulation that is heated and cooled repeatedly suffers from embrittlement and will crack and fall off. The cooling system only works to dissipate battery heat, not heat through the rest of the electrical system. The battery also has internal temperature sensors that will isolate the battery in an overheating event. The wiring harness does not.

Heat is the enemy and will always be in any electrical generation system, it is the indication of an electrical "leak" or short and always means a loss in the transmission of electricity (or transfer efficiency)

So if you are worried about what Chrysler is saying about overheating in your Pachy my recommendations stand. (that's only for those who are worried) If you are not disregard!

References
.
 

·
Registered
2021 Pacifica Hybrid Touring L
Joined
·
43 Posts
That would also make you question Chrysler’s suggestion to store the van outside away from buildings, etc. I would imagine that storing it outside as opposed to in a garage would expose the battery pack to greater swings in ambient temperature on a daily basis. In reality, if the batteries have defects it would seem that this could actually hasten the process by which the shorts occur in the batteries.
I’m guessing that bc Chrysler hasn’t diagnosed the exact cause yet that they just want to make sure no adjacent structures catch on fire. They probably aren’t tying a cause to an effect, yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
I’m guessing that bc Chrysler hasn’t diagnosed the exact cause yet that they just want to make sure no adjacent structures catch on fire. They probably aren’t tying a cause to an effect, yet.
Yeah, so that raises the question, if you haven’t diagnosed a cause why tell us not to charge the car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
883 Posts
Heat is the enemy and will always be in any electrical generation system, it is the indication of an electrical "leak" or short and always means a loss in the transmission of electricity (or transfer efficiency)

So if you are worried about what Chrysler is saying about overheating in your Pachy my recommendations stand. (that's only for those who are worried) If you are not disregard!
I agree that heat is an enemy but it’s not the only enemy. My guess is that the enemy in this case is faulty manufacturing. Since I have owned multiple flashlights, cellphones, laptops, tablets, battery charging packs, etc. with lithium-ion batteries and not a single one of them has ever burnt up while charging at a 1C rate in all the years I’ve owned these devices, I have to assume that the batteries in my van which are essentially the same thing would also not burn up from charging at the same rate unless there was a defect in the manufacturing process.

And I am not worried about what Chrysler has said about overheating in my vehicle because they haven’t said anything about batteries overheating. They simply informed me that some of the PHEVs mentioned in the recall may experience a fire potentially originating in the center of the vehicle. Yes, a fire implies overheating but they haven’t even specified what it is that’s catching fire or what’s causing it.

If I tell you that some people have died while they were outside of their home walking around and I advise you not to leave your home, are you going to necessarily follow my advice? Probably not. Why not? Because I haven’t specified what the problem is or given you any data to predict your risk. So most people would say, hmmm, I’ve been walking outside of my house for a number of years and I haven’t died yet nor have I ever had the impression that I was in danger, is there really a reason to be concerned?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Well, I just got this text message from my dealer (redacted some info):

There is a safety recall on your vehicle. Click the link or call <number> to schedule an appt <link>. We offer complimentary loaner vehicles. Please reference recall code, Z11 when scheduling. Rply STOP to OptOut.
But I think it's just their automated system doing this not realizing there is not a resolution yet. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I agree that heat is an enemy but it’s not the only enemy. My guess is that the enemy in this case is faulty manufacturing. Since I have owned multiple flashlights, cellphones, laptops, tablets, battery charging packs, etc. with lithium-ion batteries and not a single one of them has ever burnt up while charging at a 1C rate in all the years I’ve owned these devices, I have to assume that the batteries in my van which are essentially the same thing would also not burn up from charging at the same rate unless there was a defect in the manufacturing process.

And I am not worried about what Chrysler has said about overheating in my vehicle because they haven’t said anything about batteries overheating. They simply informed me that some of the PHEVs mentioned in the recall may experience a fire potentially originating in the center of the vehicle. Yes, a fire implies overheating but they haven’t even specified what it is that’s catching fire or what’s causing it.

If I tell you that some people have died while they were outside of their home walking around and I advise you not to leave your home, are you going to necessarily follow my advice? Probably not. Why not? Because I haven’t specified what the problem is or given you any data to predict your risk. So most people would say, hmmm, I’ve been walking outside of my house for a number of years and I haven’t died yet nor have I ever had the impression that I was in danger, is there really a reason to be concerned?
Yes agreed. I am not sure why everyone is convinced it is the battery. Especially considering the gas version is catching fire too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Has anyone tracked the estimated value lost on vehicles impacted by this recall? I just checked my 2018 and KBB estimated it at $30k trade in. I wonder what it would be without this issue?
For my 2018 limited, KBB on 12/15/2021 was as follows:

Private party $35.5k
Trade in $32.5k

I bought it used from a dealer in Oct 2021 for $35k.
 
101 - 120 of 125 Posts
Top