2020 Chrysler Pacifica Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Electrical system, engine and powertrain issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Families have been moving away from minivans over the past few years, but the 2020 Chrysler Pacifica continues to have a following. For this model, the automaker claims it offers “street smarts,” but many people consider it to the corner bully instead. It holds customers hostage with the faulty electrical system, defective powertrain, poorly running engine and non-functioning air bags.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Modern vehicles have an electrical system running to every part, which can be a good or bad aspect depending on how things work.

Here’s one Edmunds review that shines a light on the problems. “I have a Chrysler Pacifica Limited. It’s had one issue after another. Electrical issues, infotainment screen freezing, fuel pump failed, issues with sliding doors, and the latest is the compressor on the A/C is bad. It’s unbelievable how many times I’ve had to take it to the dealership for repairs. I love this van as far as the interior features and comfort but it has not been reliable and I’ve spent hours taking it on for repairs.”

Beyond this, there is a recall that affects over 300,000 vehicles. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V191000 talks about a software error that allows the rearview camera image to remain on the screen even when the vehicle is not in Reverse. This can be distracting, possibly leading to an accident. If the automaker were smart, they would simply claim that this screen is another aspect of the entertainment features.

Problems with the Transmission

The transmission is a critical aspect of the powertrain. When it shifts properly, the ride is smooth. Otherwise, any commute becomes cumbersome.

That’s what this customer thinks from Edmunds. “The transmission on the Pacifica is awful. Hard shifts (and I mean really hard!) are common occurrences and started while it was new. Problems with the electrical system and the automatic doors not closing correctly. My first and last Chrysler.”

Even the automaker knows there is trouble with the transmission. Service Bulletin #S2018000008 talks about the engine surging and a turbo under boost condition after performing an update to the Powertrain Control Module. It might be that Chrysler simply wants to provide further entertainment for young passengers by allowing them to believe they are at the amusement park.

Problems with the Engine

Along with the transmission, the engine must be running at full force to create the power needed to move. Yet, this is one more defective part of the Pacifica.

This NHTSA complaint states, “The contact owns a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica. The contact stated that the vehicle experienced uncontrolled acceleration for 20 seconds, the Check Engine warning light illuminated, the brake pedal was losing the ability to hold the vehicle, the engine revved up to 7000 RPM and there was a ticking noise coming from the engine after the vehicle cool down. The vehicle was restarted and was driving to [dealership] but was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 200.”

While Chrysler doesn’t want to acknowledge any sort of problem that is this dangerous, the company did tread on shallower issues with Service Bulletin #18-089-19. This communication talks about a small EVAP system leak that could affect performance. Taking all of these defects into account, it might seem like the better “street smart” idea would be to ride a bike instead.

Problems with the Air Bags

Finally, a look at the air bags leads to further concerns. After all, this system is designed to keep the occupants protected during an accident. With many families trusting the Pacifica, this is the one aspect no one wants to fail.

Yet, according to this NHTSA review, it did. “The contact rented a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica. The contact stated that while driving 70 mph, crashed into two deer. There were no reported injuries. The driver’s and passenger side air bags failed to deploy. A police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to the Dallas Ft. Worth airport. The local dealer and manufacturer were not contacted. The failure mileage was 3,100.”

It would be “street smart” for this customer to avoid Pacifica rentals in the future. Even the automaker wants nothing to do with this complaint and has not addressed any air bag problems. It must be a touchy subject. Maybe the Pacifica should be outfitted with plush pillows around the entire cabin, just in case.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work aid your lemon at no cost to you. The law makes Chrysler pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

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About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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