Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has recalled 154,000 Chrysler Pacifica minivans following complaints that the vans can stall suddenly while being driven.
The New York Times reports that certain conditions can cause the minivan’s engine control module to incorrectly assess the operating status, potentially causing the engine to stall. In order to resume driving following an engine stall, drivers reported having to shut of their and restart their vehicles.
Among the complaints filed by Pacifica owners were reports of engine stalls occurring in intersections and on highways. Fiat Chrysler confirmed one accident in connection with the engine stall defect.
Complaints began last year and after dealers and Chrysler engineers failed to pinpoint the problem, customers called on the automaker to buy back the minivans. In November, the Center for Auto Safety filed a petition calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to open a formal investigation into the defect and order a recall.
The Pacifica recall comes on the heels of two recent controversies involving Fiat Chrysler’s handling of recalls and recalled vehicles.
In 2015, NHTSA ruled that Fiat Chrysler had failed to promptly notify vehicle owners of recalls and delayed initiating repairs of defective models in 23 recalls covering roughly 11 million vehicles. The automaker was fined $105 million.
Fiat Chrysler was the subject of national headlines again last year when actor Anton Yelchin was killed by his Jeep Grand Cherokee which rolled backward down his driveway and crushed him. The vehicle was part of a recall related to defective electronic gearshifts, but it had not been repaired prior to the fatal accident. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Yelchin’s family.