2019 Chrysler Pacifica Top Complaints and Problems – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Transmission, Electrical and Engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

FCA boasts that the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica is the “best new family car,” but we can’t agree with them. After all, family cars aren’t supposed to leave you stranded on the side of the road and they surely shouldn’t create dangerous situations. Yet, that’s exactly what many users face when they get behind the wheel of this minivan. Complaints range from a jerky powertrain to faulty electronics.

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Engine

The engine is the brain of a car. It creates the power and keeps everything running smoothly. If you can’t rely on the engine, what can you count on? Sadly, many Pacifica owners can’t trust the engine in their minivan, despite paying premium prices for the “best.”

One person wrote this on Edmunds. “More than 6 times the minivan was not started (so I needed to leave the minivan with 7 small kids and take a car service and wait in the cold) so I called Chrysler. They told me I need to call Chrysler Care Service and they me I need to wait 3-4 weeks for an appointment. So I did not make an appointment because I told them take back your broken minivan but they did not want to help me. 1 day the minivan stopped completely dead on the street so I called Chrysler Roadside Assistance and they took it for service. I needed to wait more than a week without a car, they did not give me a rental or money for a rental. They called me from there that my grille is broken. It was not broken when I had the minivan, they broke it. I picked up the minivan and new problem. This was a safety problem, the minivan stopped more than 4 times in the middle of the road and highway.”

Can you even imagine the terror of driving with small children in this minivan when situations like this occur? How nerve-racking this must have been for the owner. It turns out there was a recall affecting almost 200,000 vehicles because of engine stalling problems. The cause was a loose battery ground connection that provided intermittent loss of power steering assist and stalling trouble. Technicians needed to repair the connection to resolve the situation. Until then, families everywhere sat in the middle of intersections once again. Maybe it’s part of Chrysler’s advertising campaign to stick their cars in front of everyone to see. It’s possible that if people see it enough, they might want one.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Engine Problems:

FIRST DAY WE PURCHASED THE VEHICLE, THE ENGINE LIGHT WENT ON AND THE HYBRID BATTERY NEEDED TO BE REPLACED. TWO WEEKS LATER THE VEHICLE KEPT STALLING, AND EVENTUALLY CAME TO A COMPLETE STOP. FOUR WEEKS OF PURCHASE, OUR CAR BEGANS STALLING AGAIN AND OUR ENGINE LIGHT IS BACK ON. TECH SAYS “THE CAR FIXED ITSELF”. THE ENGINE LIGHT IS BACK ON AGAIN.

Electrical System

If the transmission is running good, then you have to be on the lookout for bad wiring instead. The electrical system runs everything from the moment you put your key in the ignition until the time you turn it off. When something malfunctions, you can lose the ability to drive your minivan, or worse yet, face a fire.

Read what this user on the NHTSA website reported. “Smoke and foul rotten egg smell coming from driver rear quarter panel where battery sits. Fire department came out and removed paneling and battery was found to be extremely overheated. Vehicle was plugged in charging when this occurred in our garage. I immediately unplugged it and called 911.”

Sadly, this is a problem facing many of the newer plug-in cars. The companies want to make them safe, but they haven’t proven themselves yet. Still, even with a gasoline-powered engine, you can face dangerous electric problems. Just look at the recall of voltage regulators for this minivan. It turns out that more than 12,000 units were equipped with faulty regulators that could fail and cause the engine to stall. To remedy the problem, FCA needed to replace the PCM. Until then, cars were stalling in the middle of the streets for no reason. I guess that’s better than starting on fire in your garage, as long as no one else hit you.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Electrical System Problems

TL* THE CONTACT OWNS A 2019 CHRYSLER PACIFICA. THE CONTACT STATED THAT SHE LOCKED THE KEY FOB INSIDE THE VEHICLE WITH HER CHILDREN INSIDE. THE CONTACT STATED THAT THE VEHICLE HAD A FEATURE THAT ALLOWED HER TO ENTER THE VEHICLE BY PRESSING A BUTTON ON THE SLIDING DOORS WHEN THE KEY FOB WAS INSIDE; HOWEVER, THE BUTTON FAILED TO OPERATE. THE CONTACT’S DAUGHTER ATTEMPTED TO UNLOCK THE DOOR ON THE DRIVER’S SIDE; HOWEVER, THE UNLOCK BUTTON ALSO FAILED TO OPERATE. THE CONTACT NOTIFIED THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AND THEY WERE ABLE TO SAFELY REMOVE THE CHILDREN FROM THE VEHICLE. THERE WERE NO WARNING INDICATORS ILLUMINATED OR INJURIES. THE VEHICLE WAS NOT DIAGNOSED OR REPAIRED. THE MANUFACTURER AND DEALER WERE NOT NOTIFIED OF THE FAILURE. THE FAILURE MILEAGE WAS UNKNOWN.

SMOKE AND FOUL ROTTEN EGG SMELL COMING FROM DRIVER REAR QUARTER PANEL WHERE BATTERY SITS. FIRE DEPARTMENT CAME OUT AND REMOVED PANELING AND BATTERY WAS FOUND TO BE EXTREMELY OVERHEATED. VEHICLE WAS PLUGGED IN CHARGING WHEN THIS COURTED IN OUR GARAGE. I IMMEDIATELY UNPLUGGED IT AND CALLED 911

Powertrain

The powertrain in a vehicle must have a seamless operation for the ride to remain comfortable. If there’s one faulty part, every drive becomes cumbersome and a family’s worst nightmare, no matter how much entertainment technology is located in the cabin. Owners of the Pacifica find that the transmission is anything but smooth-shifting.

One user on Edmunds wrote, “Hate the very jerky 9-speed transmission at slower speeds. The shifting of the lower gears creates a very jerky ride around town. My radio was already replaced within a week of purchasing. The vehicle has been into the service dept for the transmission five times until I finally took the service foreman for a ride and he stated this is how the 9-speed transmission functions. He also stated Chrysler will hopefully come out with a flash update to smooth out the slower speed shifting.”

FCA has remained very quiet regarding transmission complaints. As the foreman above suggested, they want people to believe that it’s simply the way a nine-speed transmission should feel. Yet, he thinks there will be a flash update. Why would there be an update if there’s nothing wrong? It’s very suspicious. On another note, the automaker issued Service Bulletin #TS-WI-0421 which instructs dealers to offer customers with an improved pinion bracket at no cost to improve the ride. They will discuss a part as small as a bracket, but not the transmission. The typical elephant in the middle of the room philosophy, if you ask us. It’s almost like an illusion – look over here, not there.

Here are some actual complaints logged with the NHTSA about the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Transmission Problems

THE VEHICLE JERKS (HESITATES) WHILE ACCELERATING FROM A START TO ABOUT 37 MPH. SUSPECT GEARS 1-4. HAVE BEEN TO DEALERSHIP 7 TIMES SINCE I PURCHASED THE NEW VEHICLE. HAVE HAD VALVE BODY REPLACED, ADAPTATIONS RESET, EVEN THE RADIO WAS REPLACED ALREADY. VEHICLE NOW HAS 1000 MILES ON IT AND STILL HAS ISSUES. THE DEALERSHIP SERVICE HAS TRIED EVERYTHING THEY CAN ASIDE FROM REPLACING THE TRANSMISSION. THE ZF 9 TRANSMISSION IS THE PROBLEM AND CHRYSLER (FCA) HAS REFUSED TO FIX THE PROBLEM AS THEY CONTINUE TO GET MANY MANY COMPLAINTS.

VEHICLE HESITATES FROM GEARS 1-4 JERKING THROUGH EACH GEAR. HAVE HAD VALVE BODY REPLACED NOT FIXED. HAVE BEEN TO DEALER 7 TIMES AND WAS TOLD THIS IS THE WAY IT IS. PURCHASED THE VEHICLE NEW AND WAS REPORTED IMMEDIATELY NO OFFER OF MONEY BACK.

COULD NOT START CHRYSLER PACIFICA FOR ONE HOUR FRIDAY MORNING. FINALLY STARTING, THE ENGINE SHUT DOWN WHILE MOVING AT LOW SPEED APPROACHING A LIGHT (AT TIME THOUGHT IT WAS THE GAS SAVING FEATURE) AND WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO START. DROVE IT TO DEALER MONDAY, AFTER A VERY DIFFICULT START FOR A FIX YESTERDAY. DEALER COULD NOT DUPLICATE PROBLEM SO I DROVE HOME, PARKED, AND TODAY IT WOULD NOT START. I HAD TO HAVE IT TOWED BACK TO DEALER. CONCERNED ENGINE COULD SHUT DOWN AT SPEED LOCKING CONTROLS. AS CAUSE IS UNKNOWN, I BELIEVE THIS IS A SAFETY ISSUE FOR CHRYSLER AND A HEADS-UP TO THE NHTSA. THE PROBLEM BEGAN WITH ABOUT 150 MILES ON THE ODOMETER AND THE VAN NOW HAS ABOUT 475 MILES.

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Share your story

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1 COMMENT
  • Shannon F

    Im not sure if my van would be considered a lemon or not but its been in the shop multiple times already for the same engine stalling issue and other defects. It is a 2019. How do I know if we have a lemon case ?

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