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2021 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Pinnacle
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Be sure to register a complaint with NHTSA. That would be a big help to everyone else. We need to make sure there are regulatory eyes on this failure as many people have experienced it.
For reference it took around 3 min to file my complaint on-line. Very low level of effort required.
 

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I stopped by the dealer today and they scanned the car for codes and they said that there were codes related to the transmission and they need to get their transmission expert to check it out. I talked to the service manager and made her aware that my problem is not unique to my car and I gave her a print out of this forum thread. I told her that I hope that she will not hesitate to reach out to her corporate contacts to get help with this issue and not try to figure it out like they are re-inventing the wheel on their own again for the first time. The service manager says that this is the first time that they have encountered this problem.

I sent a direct message to Chrysler Cares on this forum. I hope that they will be helpful to me. Does anyone have experience with Chrysler Cares yet? I wonder what happened to "EvanP" who started this thread as he hasn't posted anything after he started the thread.

My NHTSA complaint number is 11451060.

I really want to stress the point that I am not a complainer and I am not complaining about Chrysler. I am very happy with my car and I really like Chrysler. I just want the problem I am experiencing with my car to be repaired properly and permanently.
 

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Sarah from Chrysler Cares just contacted me and told me that a specialist will be reaching out to me in 1-2 days to try and help me with my problem. So far no new information from my dealer. I'll keep everyone posted. I pray for a happy ending🙂.
 

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Was just told by the dealer that per Chrysler Engineering the updated path forward is a new cooler for the hybrid battery and that part will not be delivered until 3/16 with the context that it may not resolve the issue. I will now be without the use of my car for @25% of the time I have owned it in my first year of ownership. Beyond frustrated with the nature of the problem and now getting visibility to Chrysler's inability to resolve problems with this platform in any type of reasonable manner. I have begun the engagement process with legal council in terms of my states Lemon Law process and will share those details as well in terms of options for those unfortunate enough to be in my situation - in terms of Chrysler Cares is sure does not feel that way from my end.
 

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I received a call from the service manager today and was told that they need to do an extensive electrical system test on my vehicle and they probably won't know until early next week what will be required for a proper repair procedure. I talked on the phone today with Chrysler customer service before getting the call from the service manager and they told me that they are working with the dealer on my problem. I guess when a dealer has a car in for service work under warranty and it is a serious problem it is standard procedure to be in contact with Chrysler engineering to get direction and approval for how to proceed.

Jwadz626 is there any update with your situation? What about everyone else? I hope that we all keep each other updated on what is happening with our cars.
 

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A quick update, I received a call from my dealer today and they told me that Chrysler is sending a new transaxle. After the new transaxle is installed they will have to do a test to see if the PIM is OK or needs to be replaced as well but they need to replace the transaxle first according to the Chrysler engineers. I still don't have a car to use but my main concern is that my car gets repaired properly and permanently and I will not have this problem again. I also hope that all of the technicians that are working on my car are careful and I get my car back in the condition that they received it in which was perfect. I am very particular about the car and maintenance of my car and it really is stressful to think of how easily it could be damaged during this whole process while it is at the dealer getting repaired.
 

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Currently waiting for an electric coolant heater which the dealer gave an estimate of March 16th for delivery. What’s interesting is I had the vehicle in for service and a software update in November and after it came back it would consistently start on combustion power even with a 100% battery charge / coming out of a 50 degree garage. I am in Wisconsin and that update coincided w/ the arrival of winter here and I chalked it up to an unfortunate side effect of the cold weather but learning about the purpose of the electric
coolant heater I am not so sure. Anyway the short of it is I am waiting and still a month out from any chance of resolution.
 

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Currently waiting for an electric coolant heater which the dealer gave an estimate of March 16th for delivery. What’s interesting is I had the vehicle in for service and a software update in November and after it came back it would consistently start on combustion power even with a 100% battery charge / coming out of a 50 degree garage. I am in Wisconsin and that update coincided w/ the arrival of winter here and I chalked it up to an unfortunate side effect of the cold weather but learning about the purpose of the electric
coolant heater I am not so sure. Anyway the short of it is I am waiting and still a month out from any chance of resolution.
There is a software update coming to resolve the battery coolant heater error code and non-working issue. My dealer confirmed this morning they have been told to NOT replace any coolant heaters and a software update is in the works to resolve the issue. This is why many older vehicles like my 2018 had the same issue after it was updated in December but never had an issue prior but at the same time as everyone one else this year.

It is exactly as I had originally suspected.


After the post from stopeject yesterday, I called this morning to find out if my dealer had more info than a few days ago and they did as stated above.


After pulling Freeze Frame data of it happening a second time it was a dead giveaway of what the issue is.

 

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ThisSuckersElectrical is the battery coolant heater error problem linked in anyway to the service charging system error message and the car not having power? Also, it seems like the fix for the service charging system error resulting in no power is a new transaxle and/or PIM module. Does anyone know what is the problem with the transaxle and/or PIM module that is causing the problem in the first place and what is different about the new transaxle and PIM module that will not result in the problem happening again in the future?
 

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ThisSuckersElectrical is the battery coolant heater error problem linked in anyway to the service charging system error message and the car not having power? Also, it seems like the fix for the service charging system error resulting in no power is a new transaxle and/or PIM module. Does anyone know what is the problem with the transaxle and/or PIM module that is causing the problem in the first place and what is different about the new transaxle and PIM module that will not result in the problem happening again in the future?
I am quite sure they are not related to the updates that caused the heater issue. But it could be possible can't completely rule it out. Chrysler is new in the plug-in hybrid game and improving each year.

The 2021 updates HCP, AHCP, and PCM were to resolve a no start key not detected. 2022s came with the software already from the factory. They rolled the same updates HCP, AHCP, PCM, plus an update for the antilock brake module into 2017/2018s to resolve an issue of a stuck permanent ABS code that prevents people in states like California from passing the states emissions tests. The updates may have been listed for the 19 and 20s too but I have no info on those.

The ones experiencing the service charging error, for a small few here this been resolved by PIM replacement, but the majority has been the transaxle.

As for the transaxle failures, it could be hardware due to reports of black fluid and metal in them. Factory defect from China. Could be software not engaging the transaxle properly causing hardware damage. I have no idea and hope I do not experience the issue.

So far both of mine have been winners.
 

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Unfortunately I have the service charge error and have been told the PIM and Transaxle are not the issue - but I am also 41 days and counting without my car and with very little detail on why the batter coolant heater would manifest as a complete system error leaving the vehicle 'bricked' mid-drive. I am starting to contemplate if I have both a service charge issue and a battery coolant problem at the same time with the battery coolant problem coming after a service visit that included a software update as the car's behavior changed after that visit and I chalked it up to winter / cold weather but knowing how the battery coolant heater now works I should not see my vehicle start on gas power coming out of a 50 degree garage when at a 100% charge. Called in to both Chrysler Cares and my dealership this afternoon to inquire on the feedback around the high voltage coolant heater and that others are being told a software update is required but was only able to get in contact with my dealer and that was new detail for them and they were not aware of any direction on a upcoming firmware / software fix. For anyone reading this far through the chain and contemplating a plugin hybrid Pacifica purchase will say the vehicle is great until it does not work and then best of luck to get a resolution as I do not believe the Chrysler organization has anywhere near the maturity to reasonably troubleshoot and service this platform. They are adding models to it so that may change but my advice is caveat emptor...
 

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Final update from me on my situation. I picked up my car on 02/24/22. My dealer installed the new transaxle as advised by the Chrysler engineering team and performed a test after installing the new transaxle and my original PIM tests out OK. So the fix for my car was simply a new transaxle and so far it is performing flawlessly again!

When I picked up my car I asked to speak with the technician who was working on my car that installed the new transaxle and I asked him what it was that failed in my transaxle. The technician told me that there was a short in one of the stators in motor A. These are three phase motors (there are two motors inside the transaxle, motor A and motor B) and they have three stators in each motor and one of the stators in motor A was shorted out. The technician said he has seen a few transaxles fail but not too many. He feels that Chrysler is probably going to make necessary modifications to make sure that this problem doesn't proliferate.

If my problem is resolved and it doesn't happen to me again then I will be happy. Problems can and do happen all the time and to any manufacturer. The question is, when a problem does happen how is it dealt with and does it get fixed properly? I have to say that when I was finally able to drive my car again after not having it for two weeks I was so impressed with how nice this car is to drive. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid really is a very, very nice car to drive! It is so comfortable, so smooth, so quiet, so solid and the fit and finish and build quality overall is really very good especially when you factor in the cost of the vehicle. In my opinion it is a fine automobile and I really enjoy it and I hope to get many more trouble free miles out of mine.
 

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The technician told me that there was a short in one of the stators in motor A. These are three phase motors (there are two motors inside the transaxle, motor A and motor B) and they have three stators in each motor and one of the stators in motor A was shorted out. The technician said he has seen a few transaxles fail but not too many.
Tiny correction: There are only 2 stators - 1 for each motor, but each stator has 3 windings. I have seen stator windings fail in ALL kinds of applications, from motorcycle alternators to very large industrial motors, including in aircraft generators where the required testing prior to installation on an aircraft is 100%. Stator winding failure is typically due to a manufacturing defect, with the exception of those cases when the system has been subjected to some kind of overload - like a lightning strike. Some percentage will pretty much always fail, and that is a consequence of mass production. Failure rates can be driven down, but once you get in the low single digits, it gets very expensive to reduce rates further. This is the kind of thing we really just need to accept as a reality of the environment in which we live.
 

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Thanks seo68 for your clarification. That's what you get when you forget to double check what you wrote before you post it. My mistake and thanks again for picking it up and correcting what I wrote.

The failure rate that you are talking about is exactly what the technician who repaired my car was telling me. He said that Chrysler is trying to make sure that the balance between cost and acceptable failure rate is just right because as you say once you get the failure rate down to a reasonable level to go any further would make the manufacturing costs too high. I am pleased with the professionalism that my dealer and Chrysler engineering used to diagnose and repair my car. I feel confident that the problem I experienced is fairly rare and I am also happy that Chrysler is taking the failures seriously to make sure that they remain at a rate that is reasonable regarding the cost versus performance balance. So far I have put on over 500 miles with the new transaxle and everything is working 100%:).
 

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The failure rate that you are talking about is exactly what the technician who repaired my car was telling me. He said that Chrysler is trying to make sure that the balance between cost and acceptable failure rate is just right because as you say once you get the failure rate down to a reasonable level to go any further would make the manufacturing costs too high.
That applies well if we're talking about failure of a radio screen, or door handles or any non critical system. But a know failure that shuts down your brand new vehicle while driving on the road isn't acceptable in any form, period. This is life threatening situation. What next? It's ok if brand new breaks fail randomly, but not too often? It's ok if wheels fall of the car?
 

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This is life threatening situation. What next? It's ok if brand new breaks fail randomly, but not too often? It's ok if wheels fall of the car?
It is true that operating a car can put one in a life threatening situation, but unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing that can be done about that. Failure rates cannot and have never been 0. Brakes fail. Wheels fall off. It does happen. That is the world we live in, and right now we don't have the technology to make it different, in any practical way. When failure rates exceed a certain amount, then recalls are announced, although that is almost always after the problem has already surfaced and affected people. As long as the failure rate stays small enough (whatever that is), we end up living with it (or not).
 
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Wanted to provide an update - I received my vehicle back on Thursday 3/3 and drove approximately 200 miles since then with the vehicle initially behaving as it had when we first bought it in terms of using the battery until exhausted and then flipping to ICE. Last evening I drove it for @ 15 miles and it started flipping between ICE and battery every couple miles even with a starting point of a 100% charge (outside temp was @ 35 degrees for that trip). This morning my wife took it to work and it started on ICE even though 100%charged / coming out of a 57 degree heated garage and then as it flipped to battery about 3 miles from our home / on the interstate it lost all power again doing 70 MPH and she was lucky to get to a shoulder - another mile and she would have been on a bridge. Vehicle is back in the dealer and as I suspected and argued with them the battery coolant heater was not the source of the issue.
 

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Jwadz626 I am very sorry to hear about your bad experience. I wonder why your dealer thought that the battery coolant heater would fix your problem with the total loss of power? Is your dealer in communication with Chrysler engineering?

As for my situation, I can happily report that I have put just over 1,000 miles on my car since I got it back and so far it is still working flawlessly. I pray that that will continue and so far I have no reason to believe that it will not but if my problem ever does return I will be sure to post it on this forum so that everyone knows.

Good luck Jwadz626 with getting your problem resolved. I truly am sorry that you are having such a bad experience. Make sure that you let the people at corporate Chrysler know that you are having a bad experience with getting your car repaired properly so that they will have an opportunity to help you get it resolved. It really does sound like you are right about having possibly two problems with your car at the same time and that can compound the diagnosis and repair procedure for sure.
 
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