Car Industry

Chrysler Pacifica PHEV, Jeep Renegade and Cherokee recalled for stalling

Each car is under a separate recall, because the root causes are different.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

There are many ways to get a vehicle to stall, which is when the engine suddenly stops running. In Fiat Chrysler's case, three separate issues across three separate vehicles have the possibility to create a stall condition. Let's look at each one individually.

Recall the first: Pacifica Hybrid engine restarts

The first of the three stall-related recalls covers 10,021 examples of the 2017-2018 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid. According to recall documents from NHTSA, it's estimated that 100 percent of the recalled vehicles carry the defect. Thankfully, as of Oct. 5, FCA has no reports of collisions or injuries related to this problem.

In this case, the gas engine might not be correctly synchronized to the rest of the powertrain. Thus, the engine might not start properly after the vehicle has been operating under electric propulsion, which could dump unburned fuel into the catalytic converter. If that happens, the vehicle may stall, and unburned fuel in the catalytic converter could increase the risk of a vehicle fire.

Fixing the vehicle shouldn't be too tough. FCA technicians will apply a software update to the powertrain control module that will correct any improper engine synchronization. The catalytic converter will also be inspected and, if necessary, replaced. Owners will start receiving recall notices in the mail in December.

Recall the second: Cherokee transmission calibrations

The second recall is a bit larger, covering 86,053 examples of the 2019 Jeep Cherokee with the 2.4-liter I4 gas engine. Recall documents estimate that 100 percent of recalled vehicles contain the defect.

The problem comes from the transmission. Improper calibration of the transmission may lead the vehicles to stall when decelerating. This obviously increases the risk of a collision, but just like the Pacifica recall, FCA is unaware of any collisions or injuries related to this problem. The calibration issue was discovered and fixed on the line, so vehicles manufactured after Oct. 16, 2018 are not affected.

Software is once again the avenue of remedy. FCA technicians will take recalled vehicles and apply a software update to the transmission, which should eliminate the calibration issue that precipitated the stall condition. Owners will be notified by first-class mail in December.

Recall the third: Renegade fuel pressure

The final of the three recalls covers 21,104 examples of the 2017-2018 Jeep Renegade 4X2 with the 2.4-liter flex fuel engine. According to recall documents, it's estimated that just 5 percent of the recalled vehicles contain the defect.

In this case, the problem comes from the fuel system. When operating using standard gas with a 10-percent ethanol blend (E10), the fuel pump might cavitate when high power is demanded in areas with high altitudes or high ambient temperatures. If that happens, the fuel pressure might drop and the vehicle might stall. The engine might also continue to operate, albeit roughly, and a warning light will illuminate on the dashboard.

The recall documents say that a replacement fuel delivery module is still under development, so it appears software alone will not fix this one. Owners will begin to receive recall notifications in early December.

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: Say hello to Roadshow's latest long-term test vehicle.

Chrysler Pacifica: See how our last long-term Pacifica held up to 30,000 miles of abuse.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport 4x4