2021 Chrysler Pacifica Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

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

While the minivan segment has been reduced due to the incoming SUV lineups, the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica still seems to have a following. Maybe it’s because of the manufacturer’s claim that the van is
“easy on the eyes,” or simply because people don’t know how defective this model actually is. After all, customers continue to complain about the electrical system, engine and powertrain.

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Problems with the Electrical System

Today’s cars must be equipped with well-functioning electrical systems to run all of the sophisticated equipment inside. However, the Pacifica falls short of most standards.

One Edmunds review states, “Bought this in February. Never bought a brand new car before. Thought having a warranty was nice. Never thought I’d need it right away. Cruise control and adaptive cruise control went out before 2k miles. The touchscreen computer system has randomly rebooted mid-drive, while using the gps. This requires pulling over, turning the vehicle off, opening and closing the driver door before turning it back on, and then waiting for everything to boot up before touching anything. Also, the rear tail gate won’t close occasionally, so it has to be done manually. Took it back to the dealership today and they told me it’s being worked as a “Star Case” and they won’t have a fix for any of this until Q3 ‘21. Not gonna lie… I immediately wanted a refund when he said that.”

Chrysler isn’t trying to hide the fact that this minivan is riddled with issues. There are currently more than 35 manufacturer communications discussing electrical system problems, such as Service Bulletin #S2008000010 Rev. In this document, it becomes clear that Apple CarPlay doesn’t work right in these minivans, with lockup issues, freezing and pairing complaints. Maybe the company figures families should go back to the time when having a discussion with one another is what occurred in the car.

Problems with the Engine

Driving an entire family around requires lots of power from a reliable engine. Sadly, the Chrysler Pacifica doesn’t seem to offer this level of dependability.

One NHTSA complaint reads, “After 2 weeks and less than 150 miles, the engine misfired during a short drive to the grocery store. The dealer states that a bearing in a lifter seized.”

There are many other engine-related issues with the Pacifica. Service Bulletin #S1809000007 Rev. goes on further to discuss oil leaks and excessive consumption. Plus, there are potential class action lawsuits being investigated because of a knocking sound, ticking noise, loss of power and rough-running engines. At this point, it would be difficult to feel confident loading an entire family into this minivan.

Problems with the Powertrain

It appears the powertrain is creating just as many problems as the engine, leading to an annoying combination of issues.

A final NHTSA review says, “When attempting to start the van it will periodically not engage. The gear selector will blink when you select a gear, but it will not respond to throttle. The vehicle will roll, however. This becomes a greater problem as you need to remove your foot from the brake to cycle the van back to off. All of these issues are compounded by the fact it is a PHEV and there is no engine noise to help you notice it has not started. Chrysler has said they are aware of the issue, but they have given no information other than a fix is supposed to come sometime in Q2 of 2021.”

Chrysler has its hands full with all of the problems waiting to be worked out, which is probably why it’s taking longer to get anything fixed. Even Service Bulletin #18-051-21 talks further about how some vehicles need to be reprogrammed with the latest software to get the PCM working properly. The van might be “easy on the eyes,” but it might raise blood pressure considerably.

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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