Chrysler Pacifica Minivan.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) issued a recall of 240,242 Chrysler Pacifica minivans because a small piece of dashboard trim that’s attached to the vehicle’s manual Park release is too easy to remove.

The trim is attached to a red tether strap that, when pulled, manually shifts the Pacifica from Park into Neutral. It’s located to the left of the steering column, and it’s designed so that the minivan can be moved even when its rotary shift knob won’t move out of Park—for instance, when the battery is dead.

The cover for a manual Park release is supposed to be removable only with a screwdriver or other tool, but FCA discovered that it can be removed by hand on the Pacifica. If that happens, “the vehicle could roll away, striking and injuring a bystander, or cause a crash,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

The Details

Vehicles recalled: Chrysler Pacifica minivans built between June 15, 2016 and April 6, 2018.

The problem: Dashboard trim that covers the vehicle’s Manual Park Release is too easy to remove without a screwdriver, which increases the likelihood of accidentally shifting from Park into Neutral.

The fix: Chrysler will, free of charge, install a new piece of trim that can only be removed with a screwdriver.

How to contact the manufacturer: Owners can call Chrysler at 800-853-1403. The recall is expected to begin Aug. 3, 2018, according to NHTSA.

NHTSA campaign number: 18V395000. Chrysler's own number for this recall is U50.

Check to see whether your vehicle has an open recall: Plug in the 17-digit vehicle identification number at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website. It will tell you whether your vehicle has any open recalls that need to be addressed.

CR members can stay up-to-date on their car recalls using our Car Recall Tracker.