DETROIT–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amended class action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler includes photos of Chrysler Pacifica hybrid vehicle fires spurred by a defect Hagens Berman’s attorneys call a “nightmare situation” for Pacifica owners, and a Fiat Chrysler attempted to cover up, according to the lawsuit.
The amended lawsuit was filed on March 25, 2022 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and accuses Fiat Chrysler of selling dangerously defective vehicles susceptible to fire and explosion, violating implied warranties and failing to act more quickly by disclosing and remedying the fault in the hybrid propulsion system.
The defect renders owners unable to recharge their hybrids, forcing them to rely on expensive gasoline when they purchased their cars specifically to avoid having to pay for gasoline and be subject to its price increases.
So far, all of the vehicles that allegedly caught fire were parked and turned off, and most were plugged in and charging, according to the lawsuit. In the recall report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Chrysler said “the root cause is unknown.”
“The risk of catastrophic fire is the direct result of a long known defect, hidden by and still uncorrected by the FCA,” the lawsuit states. “Not only did the FCA conceal the defect from consumers, it also concealed its consequences, including serious safety risks and financial harm…”
If you own a 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid Electric Van, you may be affected by this dangerous defect and may be entitled to compensation. Contact Hagens Berman to learn more about this issue and your consumer rights against Fiat Chrysler.
The expanded lawsuit adds claims from Ohio, Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, Virginia, Idaho, Florida, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin and New Jersey, and attorneys say they plan to add more states as more frustrated Pacifica owners contact the company.
A “nightmarish situation”
“This flaw places drivers and passengers in a nightmare situation, and all Fiat Chrysler has done so far is shrug its shoulders at the threat of random, spontaneous vehicle fires affecting its own customers,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and attorney representing Pacifica Owners in the lawsuit.
“To add insult to injury, the owners of these cars – which were purchased expressly to avoid paying high gas prices – are now completely unable to use their hybrid’s electric power and are subject to huge prices at the pump,” Berman added. .
The lawsuit states, “The failure of hybrid propulsion exposes the putative class members to an unreasonable risk of accident, injury, death or property damage in the event that their vehicle catches fire during operation or, perhaps more commonly ignites spontaneously while the vehicle is parked at the group member’s home, on a public road or in a public parking lot”.
NHTSA recommends owners of Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans stop charging their vehicles and not park them inside or near other cars or structures. This example of Pacifica fires marks the third time that Pacifica hybrids have been recalled for fire hazards.
The lawsuit contains details of 14 plaintiffs’ experiences with the defect of the Pacifica hybrid propulsion system, including being forced to pay for gasoline in the absence of the ability to safely charge their vehicles, and live with constant concern for the safety of driving their hybrids. Any states that had knowledge of the defect, they would never have purchased the Pacifica hybrid.
The lawsuit seeks to compensate Pacifica owners for Fiat Chrysler’s misconduct and for the loss of value of their vehicles due to repeated and rampant recalls related to vehicle fires. The class action brings claims of unjust enrichment and breach of warranty.
Hagens Berman is a global law firm specializing in complex plaintiffs’ rights litigation, with a tenacious drive to achieve real results for those harmed by corporate negligence and fraud. Since its founding in 1993, the firm’s determination has earned it numerous national accolades, awards, and titles of “Most Feared Plaintiff’s Firm,” MVP, and Class Action Law Pioneers. To learn more about the law firm and its successes, visit www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the company for updates and news on @ClassActionLaw.