This was a hopeless state of affairs for a car whose USP is its ability to recharge from a home socket and use the resulting electric power every day. With no immediate remedy in place, we elected to fit a smoke detector to the garage and carry on regardless. I am not suggesting that recall notices be ignored; we just balanced the perceived risk with practical considerations and, at a time of especially high gas prices, cost.
No change in behaviour from the car was experienced in the intervening eight months. Finally, notice arrived that the fix was available, so I booked the car into Crowfoot Dodge for the update to be implemented. If you’ve not had it done yet, the remedy is a reprogramming of the drive battery’s control module to avoid the conditions that potentially precede fire, bookended by a draining and charging of the pack, which is also inspected and, if deemed necessary in rare cases, replaced.
- Set proper expectations with the customer for the expected repair time
- This repair will necessitate the vehicle be kept at the dealership overnight – it is important to ensure all service & parts staff understand the length of time involved in this recall repair
- Scheduling will need to be based upon the number of chargers you have available / repair time needed (Example: 3 Chargers = 3 Repairs per day)
- Due to the time required for this repair, the customer will likely need alternate transportation. Work to accommodate customer requests for loaner / pickup & delivery / shuttle service / rideshare
- Follow-up with customer within 72 hrs after repair completion to ensure customer satisfaction
Perhaps US customer service standards don’t apply in Canada, but it will perhaps come as no surprise to anyone that I didn’t experience many of the best practices on this list. In particular, the car was booked in on a day when another recall fix was taking place – and thereby occupying the only available charging socket – leading to a two-night stay instead of the advertised one (in fact when I made the appointment, there was no mention of an overnight stay at all). The document even goes on to state that, “It’s critical that appointments adhere to the estimated repair timeline (1 car per EV charger per day), to ensure Z11 customer appointments do not overlap.” D’oh! I wasn’t offered a loan or rental vehicle to bridge the gap.
A further section of the guide talks about the Chrysler Commitment Checklist, which notes that vehicles should be returned with a full charge (yes), full tank of fuel (no) and that customers should be offered a complimentary exterior wash (also no). Lucky US Pacifica Hybrid owners also receive a two-year oil change/filter and tire rotation package as a goodwill gesture.
Again, I don’t expect to receive a level of service to which I’m not entitled. I’m just highlighting that there seems to be a gap between what’s deemed appropriate for US customers and how those north of the border are treated. In my case, I’d coincided the switch to winter tires with my recall appointment (I find the winter wheels too heavy to fit myself), but still had to pay for them to be swapped. In the circumstances, failing to wave that measly $40 feels like missing a customer-goodwill open goal.
We drove slowly home and left the car unplugged overnight after checking the charge port for damage or debris (none that I could see). The following morning, the tortoise had disappeared from the display and the car accepted a charge without issue. I spoke to the dealer who advised coming directly in for service if the problem recurred (they’d need to run diagnostics while the check-engine light was still on) but I’m writing four months after the event, and it’s been fine ever since. If anyone else has experienced a similar warning after the Z11 recall fix, I’d be interested to hear from you. Thanks for reading!