DETROIT — Customers waiting for a new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to arrive may get some good news in the next couple of weeks.

The highly anticipated hybrid, the first plug-in minivan, will start shipping to dealers on April 17, nearly five months after production began.

The exact reason for the delayed arrival of 2017 Pacifica Hybrids to dealerships was not clear, although a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ statement emphasized a desire to produce a quality vehicle. The company said in January the hybrids would begin arriving in dealerships through the first quarter, which goes through the end of March, and that production was launched Dec. 1.

“As with all launches, but particularly in the case of this technically advanced vehicle, we are taking great care to ensure that the Pacifica Hybrid comes off the line with the highest quality possible. We will only introduce a vehicle when we are fully satisfied the vehicle meets or exceeds customer expectations,” according to a company statement.

The company said more recently it has been “ramping up the build at the Windsor Assembly Plant, and full retail production will now begin on Friday, April 7. Vehicles will start shipping to dealers on Monday, April 17.”

A Riverview man who contacted the Free Press said he ordered a Pacifica Hybrid on Feb. 1 and was wondering when the vehicles would be released. An online Chrysler Pacifica forum also had numerous postings from customers wondering why their vehicles were taking so long to arrive.

A number of Pacifica Hybrids were previously released. FCA said in January it had delivered 100 specially outfitted for Waymo, formerly known as Google’s Self-Driving Car Project.

Waymo unveiled a self-driving Pacifica Hybrid minivan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this year.

The regular gasoline version of the Chrysler Pacifica, which replaced the Town & Country, was launched last spring and has been a hot seller for the company. In March, Fiat Chrysler sold 9,340 regular Pacifica minivans. The Pacifica also was named 2017 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year at the auto show.

The hybrid version is expected to get 33 miles on a single charge and a total range of 566 miles. It has a rating of 84 miles per gallon using both electric power and gasoline, and the company says the lithium-ion battery can be recharged in two hours using a 240-volt Level 2 charger.