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Victims of Vehicle Fires Launch Fiat Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid Class Action for Dangerous Electrical System Defect

TORONTO and MONTREAL, Feb. 12, 2021 - Class actions have been commenced on behalf of all Canadian owners and/or lessees of 2017-2020 Model Year Chrysler Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid vehicles affected by a dangerous electrical system defect which can cause spontaneous and catastrophic fires. These vehicles are subject to Transport Canada Recall 2020-254.

The claims have been brought by Marisa Chong and Eric Fabroa of Aurora, Ontario, Emil Florea and Jeffrey Hall of Montreal, Quebec, and David Wilson of Elmira, Ontario. Each plaintiff suffered the catastrophic loss of their Chrysler Pacific Plug-In Hybrid minivan during a spontaneous fire. The Plaintiffs allege that these fires were caused by a dangerous defect in the electrical system of their vehicles.

On June 10, 2020, Transport Canada issued a recall for 3,404 Chrysler Pacific Plug-In Hybrid vehicles. The recall documentation noted that the vehicles were affected by a dangerous electrical system defect which can cause spontaneous fires without warning, whether the vehicle is on or off. This recall came too late for the Plaintiffs, who suffered through the trauma of losing their vehicles to fire prior to the recall and Fiat Chrysler's acknowledgement of the existence and risk of the dangerous electrical system defect.

Proposed Representative Plaintiff Marisa Chong, whose Pacifica Plug-In Hybrid was destroyed in a fire caused by the electrical system defect, described the fire and her reaction: "The van filled with smoke so fast. We were lucky to have an extinguisher but the flames kept coming back. What if I were driving with my kids? What if it were parked in my garage?"

Proposed Representative Plaintiff Emil Florea, whose Pacifica was also destroyed in a similar fire stated: "As parents, I cannot describe how concerned we are about the potential psychological consequences to our children. They regularly travelled in our Pacifica and even witnessed the fire themselves."

Joel P. Rochon, a partner at Rochon Genova LLP who has issued the claims in Toronto and Montreal, stated: "Canadian consumers expect that the cars they put their families in will be reasonably safe to operate and free from dangerous defects. They are entitled to timely and warnings from manufacturers who know, or ought to know, that their products are dangerously defective. We are concerned by the unexplained inaction by Fiat Chrysler following numerous reports of spontaneous vehicle fires in the months prior to Transport Canada ordering its recall. Car manufacturers need to do more to prioritize consumers and the safety of their vehicles." 

The allegations raised in the claim have not yet been proven in court.  The plaintiffs and the proposed class members are represented by Rochon Genova LLP.


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