What happens if the manufacturer claims "it is all in your head?"

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You spend months researching the perfect new vehicle to replace the aging clunker you've been driving. Now that you have had kids, you want something safe and reliable that is big enough for family trips.

You spend hours at the dealership test driving and picking paint colors. You and your spouse decide on a cherry red Chrysler Pacifica minivan. One of the features you like is the automatic shutdown feature or Engine STOP/START System (ESS).

This feature reduces fuel consumption by stopping the engine when idle - when sitting at a stoplight - then restarting it as you need to drive forward. The V6 3.6 liter, 9-speed 948TE automatic transmission is nice too - you don't feel like a granny driving it with all that get-up and go.

The problems start

You love driving the car and decide to go on a road trip to celebrate your anniversary. It stalls on a freeway at 45 mph and almost causes a collision with the cars driving behind you.

Real life repair issues

Something similar happened to Ryan and Sarah Wildin who purchased a Chrysler Pacifica in 2017. When their practically new minivan stalled (the first time) the technician reported he could not verify the complaint and did nothing.

 

The Wildin's car stalled again under similar circumstances and they returned to the dealer. This time the car stalled at 65 mph and felt like the clutch was going out. Again, the technicians at the dealer could not replicate the issue. The techs performed a minor reboot of the memory system, just in case.

Class action filed

The class-action suit is now going to court. Multiple people have complained of engine stall at high speeds. Other makes of Chryslers equipped with the ESS system also seem to be experiencing engine stall.

While we won't know the resolution on this case for some time, what this story illustrates is how some manufacturing defects can literally seem like they are "all in your head." If the dealer technicians aren't able to replicate the issue, very little may be done about it. You don't even know if they are reporting the issue to the manufacturer.

Nevertheless, other people may be experiencing the same problem. Having a repair issue that just doesn't seem to be getting resolved, no matter how many times you bring your car in for repair? You might want to consult an attorney who deals with lemon law and class action defects.

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