Carmaker recalls thousands of vehicles amid fires in parked cars

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Chrysler parent company Stellantis has been forced to recall 19,808 hybrid minivans after reports of 12 fires in parked cars, the company said on Saturday.

The recall order covers 2017-18 Chrysler Pacifica hybrid vehicles. The majority of the vehicles belong to owners in the United States, while around 2,000 cars will be recalled from Canada and another 750 from countries outside North America.

The company has urged owners to stop recharging the cars and park them away from buildings and other vehicles. They can still operate the cars, but only using the internal combustion engine, the carmaker said.

According to Stellantis, all recorded fires took place when the cars were parked and turned off, while 8 of the 12 were charging at the time. The cause of the fires is still being investigated.

This is not the first time carmakers have recalled vehicles due to fire risks. Earlier this month, Korean firms Hyundai and Kia ordered a recall of around 485,000 vehicles in the US after 11 reported fires. Last year, General Motors was forced to stop production of its Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle and recall over 140,000 cars to replace battery modules, also after reports of fires.

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