(NEW YORK) — A consumer advocacy group is calling for a recall of all 2017 Chrysler Pacifica’s because the federal government has received more than 50 complaints that say the minivans stalled during operation.
In addition to its plea to Chrysler, the nonprofit Center for Auto Safety will file a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Monday asking the agency to open a defect investigation, the group said.
The automaker is aware of the complaints and routinely monitors the performance of its vehicles, company spokesman Eric Mayne said. Like the federal government, Fiat-Chrysler has received no reports of injuries or accidents from the alleged problem.
The Italian-American corporation has sold 150,000 of the 2017 Pacifica’s, making it the bestselling minivan in its class, according to the advocacy group. The vehicle has won various awards for safety, including one from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a five-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.
Owners are able to file complaints with the Department of Transportation via the NHTSA website, but the government does not verify every complaint. The Center for Auto Safety is asking federal regulators to open an investigation and seek more information about the complaints and from the automaker.
“At U.S. DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), safety is the top priority. NHTSA will carefully review the Center for Auto Safety’s petition and then take any appropriate action,” NHTSA said in a statement.
The Center for Auto Safety is also calling on Chrysler to give out loaner vehicles until the manufacturer is able to identify and remedy the problem.
The owners complain that the minivans, some with as few as a couple hundred miles of usage on them, have been stalling at various speeds, from idling to traveling over 60 mph, and come with seemingly random warning lights seen on the dashboard.
“The danger goes beyond what happens to families in the stalled minivan during the loss of power, as drivers of disabled vehicles are often hit and killed by other cars after they have pulled over to the side of the road,” Center for Auto Safety Executive Director Jason Levine said.
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