We have seen many different vehicle transmission types throughout the progression of time. From the original manual transmission to the most evolved automatic transmission, car manufacturers have worked tirelessly to create lasting innovations for consumers when shifting their vehicles into different gears. Some transmissions are much less manual than others, such as the automatic transmission and the continuously variable transmission which require much less physical engagement. All differences aside, every single transmission requires the driver to move the shifter in between vital gears such as drive, reverse, and park. These are all crucial gears that the vehicle needs to adequately function, and a malfunction of any of these gears could lead to catastrophe.
Chevrolet Shift to Park Defect
For a while now, many Chevrolet consumers have had the misfortune of dealing with their vehicles not shifting into park. The main problem with the inability to shift into the park gear is that consumers are unable to shut off their vehicles, which could potentially drain the battery. Consumers have been unable to exit, lock, and turn off their vehicles due to the shifting malfunction. The true issue at hand here is not that the vehicle is unable to physically shift into the park gear, but the vehicle is incapable of detecting the shift.
Typically, when this malfunction occurs, the driver will receive a “Shift to Park” message on the driver information center, even if the gear selector is moved to park and the ignition is switched to the off position. The driver then must either restart the vehicle and try to repeat the shutting down process or toggle the shifter enough that the vehicle’s electrical system finally detects the shift change. While this strategy sometimes does the trick—it doesn’t always work, and drivers are stuck with a vehicle that will not shift into park.
Consumers across the country who have experienced this issue paid out of pocket for costly repairs on a known defect with Chevrolet Vehicles. Discouraged by the unwillingness of General Motors to even recognize the problem and furthermore, resolve it, many Chevrolet owners decided that the most fitting way to deal with the issue was to file a class action lawsuit against General Motors. Part of the lawsuit is also because the company failed to notify vehicle owners of this defect, and breach of warranty. The lawsuit also alleges that when consumers take their faulty vehicles to the dealership, General Motors attempts to resolve the issue by replacing vehicle components with parts that are just as defective. The auto manufacturer has released at least four related technical service bulletins regarding the defect, but many consumers still find themselves wondering, “Where was the recall? Why wasn’t I directly informed of this problem?”.
Chevrolet Shift to Park Technical Service Bulletins
The first Technical Service Bulletin regarding this issue was released as early as January of 2017 and was updated in October of that same year to include 2018 vehicles with this same defect. This same TSB was then updated yet again in 2018 to include 2019 vehicles. When the service bulletin was originally issued in 2017, it only included Chevrolet Malibu. In 2019, a new TSB was released which included models such as the Blazer, Traverse and Volt.
The Service Bulletin released in 2019 notes that the cause of this malfunction is due to an electrical disconnect between the shifter and the vehicle’s Body Control Module. The park switch inside of the shifter is not sending a strong enough signal to inform the Body Control Module that the vehicle has been placed into park. The 2019 service bulletin did offer dealerships a correction for this vehicle malfunction, if consumers were to bring their vehicles in and complain about the defect. The correction includes adding an In-line Shifter Wire Harness Jumper. This jumper is placed in between the console harness connector and the shifter base connector. The Service Bulletin notes that after this repair, if the “Shift to Park” message is still displayed on the driver information center, the dealership should move forward with replacing the shift control assembly.
While this service bulletin seems to provide a great solution, it still seems quite unfair that a recall was never issued to notify vehicle owners of this known defect. Additionally, many consumers have noted that the solution for this defect did not work for them, and the replacement parts used on their vehicles are equally as defective as the original parts that were malfunctioning.
What Consumers Are Saying
Chevrolet consumers have shared hundreds of complaints with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding their own experiences with the shift to park defect. One Chevrolet Malibu owner mentioned that after shifting into park, the “Shift to Park” message popped up on her driver information center. The Malibu owner proceeded to place the vehicle back into drive and then change the gear to park again—the vehicle then operated normally. As this was not the owner’s first experience with this problem, she contacted her dealership who then failed to diagnose or repair her vehicle.
A Chevrolet Traverse owner noted that their vehicle was involved in a collision due to issues with the Shift to Park defect. While most people primarily note that their issue is being unable to shift the vehicle into park, this consumer was able to shift their Traverse into the park position and step out of the vehicle. After about a minute, the vehicle shifted out of park on its own and began to roll forward, colliding with the rear of another vehicle. The Chevrolet Traverse had less than 1,000 miles on it at the time of the incident.
A Chevrolet Colorado owner commented that their vehicle had been shifted into park, but they were unable to remove the key from the ignition. The owner proceeded to take their vehicle to the dealership where they paid out of pocket for the repairs. After having the shifter removed from the truck, the owner noticed that the park switch contained a broken component inside, impeding it from functioning properly and placing the vehicle into park. There was no “Shift to Park” message on the driver information center.
Various Chevrolet Volt owners stated that they constantly receive “Shift to Park” messages when the gear shifter appears to be in the park position. The biggest worry among most consumers is being unable to turn off their vehicle when they need to, potentially resulting in the drain of their battery. Some owners mentioned that jiggling the gear shifter a bit resolves the issue, while others were left without a solution or a way to exit their vehicles. For many Chevrolet owners, the most upsetting thing about this defect is the lack of accountability and acknowledgement from General Motors, who has clearly known about the problem for quite some time.
If you have found yourself in a similar predicament as these Chevrolet owners, know that you are not alone and thousands of consumers across the country have faced the same problem as you. You deserve a reliable vehicle that can safely shift into the park position and be turned off. While there are no recalls, General Motors has made it clear that they are aware of this defect by releasing Technical Service Bulletins to dealerships in all 50 states. If these issues occur with your vehicle, take it in to the dealership—it could be a lemon!
Chevrolet Models with Shift to Park Issues
Various Chevrolet model vehicles have been reported to experience the shift to park defects, including the Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Traverse and Chevrolet Blazer. This defects has been widely reported in the following model year Chevrolet vehicles.
2016-2019 Chevrolet Colorado
2016-2019 Chevrolet Malibu
2016-2019 Chevrolet Volt
2018-2019 Chevrolet Traverse
2019 Chevrolet Blazer
Chevrolet Lemon Law Claim? What to Do If You’ve Experienced Chevrolet Shift to Park Issues
Maybe you have experienced Chevrolet Shift to Park defects with your vehicle, or maybe you have yet to experience these issues but are worried that you may soon. At the Lemon Law Experts, great help is just a phone call away! Our team of Lemon Law Experts have been helping California consumers with their automobile lemon law claims for over a decade.
Below is a brief list of what you should do if you have experienced issues Shifting to Park
- Pay attention to what your vehicle does when it malfunctions
- Take your vehicle in for repairs at an authorized Chevrolet dealership.
- Make sure all your concerns are noted accurately by the authorized service dealership on the repair records.
- Keep copies of all your repair records and receipts!
If you have taken your vehicle to the dealership for warranty repair work related to these issues on two or more separate occasions, you may have a lemon under California Lemon Law and you could be entitled to a refund!
Contact Us Today!
If you are interested in pursuing a potential lemon law claim, call our team of Lemon Law Attorneys today. We do not charge you for our representation and our consultations are always fast and free. At our law firm, Lemon Law is all that we do. We have the proven track record, results, and team to provide you with excellent lemon law representation to get you the results you deserve.