— Fiat Chrysler (FCA US) is recalling nearly 50,000 Pacifica minivans in the U.S. and Canada, all equipped with 8-passenger seating.
The recall affects 2017-2018 Pacifica minivans with second-row center seating seat belt buckles that can cause the left outboard seat belts to unlatch. Chrysler says owners of Pacifica vans with 7-passenger seating are not affected by the problem because these versions do not have second-row center seating positions.
FCA learned of the problem in May 2017 when employees said they were concerned about a second-row seat belt releasing when it should have held tight during a test.
Engineers investigated and subsequent testing duplicated the problem. Additional testing showed the problem occurred while using a forward-facing child seat, and that was enough to convince Chrysler to recall the minivans.
FCA says that based on the test, an outboard second-row seat belt buckle could unlatch when the release button on the buckle contacts the buckle of an adjacent occupant.
For one buckle to touch another would take some effort on the part of an occupant, which is why Chrysler says the problem can occur during "extreme handling maneuvers."
The automaker says it's unaware of any warranty claims, complaints, crashes or injuries related to the problem. However, FCA is recommending affected Pacifica customers hold off on using the second-row center seat when occupants are in other second-row seat positions.
According to FCA, the vast majority of the minivans are in the U.S., and about 1,908 are in Canada.
Fiat Chrysler dealers will install shorter second-row seat belt buckles on the minivans once the recall begins around October 20, 2017.
Chrysler Pacifica owners may contact Chrysler at 800-853-1403 and refer to recall number T54.
2017 Dodge Durango Recall
Chrysler is also recalling four model year 2017 Dodge Durango SUVs because they may have been assembled with rear axle halfshafts that are too short.
This results in a halfshaft disengaging from the differential and leaving the SUV without the ability to keep moving.
If you own a 2017 Dodge Durango and are worried about the recall, don't be. Chrysler says it has already notified the four owners to ask them to get the SUVs to dealers to replace both halfshafts.
If people do have questions about the Durango recall, contact FCA at 800-853-1403 and ask about recall number T55.