General Motors Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over “Shift to Park” Problems

According to allegations raised in a class action lawsuit filed against General Motors, several different Chevrolet models contain a defect which may not allow drivers to shut them off, even when the shifters are placed in the PARK position.

The complaint (PDF) was filed on August 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by plaintiffs James Bertagnolli, Gregory Fladeboe and Juanita Crawford.

The lawsuit seeks class action status for hundreds of thousands of owners of General Motors model year 2016 through 2019 Chevrolet Malibu, 2016-2019 Chevrolet Volt, 2018 through 2019 Chevrolet Travers, and 2019 Chevrolet Blazer vehicles.

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According to the lawsuit, all of the vehicles have a defect which occasionally prevents drivers from turning the vehicles off, giving them a warning that they need to move the shifter into the PARK position, even when they have already done so. When this happens, a “Shift to Park” warning appears on the instrument panel.

Affected owners say they must then wiggle the gear shifter, or shift through different gears and back to PARK, before the vehicle acknowledges it is in PARK. Sometimes this works, but sometimes it does not, according to the lawsuit.

“GM had knowledge of the defect, issuing the first in a series of service bulletins on January 9, 2017 alerting its Chevrolet dealerships of the Shifter Defect,” the lawsuit alleges. “Yet despite these notices, GM, through its Chevrolet dealerships, refuses to acknowledge the Shifter Defect. When customers press the issue, GM, through its Chevrolet dealerships, refuses to honor its contractual promises to fix the defect, forcing owners and lessees of the Class Vehicles to pay for the repairs at their own expense or forgo servicing the issue.”

The lawsuit claims the issue substantially affects the value, safety and use of the vehicles, which not only prevents them from shutting the vehicles off, but also prevents them from locking the doors, causes additional and unnecessary battery discharge, and have left Plaintiffs repeatedly stranded inside their vehicles at their workplace, at home, school and children’s day care because they cannot shut the vehicles off and exit.

The complaint includes testimonials from several owners of affected vehicles, who detail the inconvenience and concerns over the “Shift to Park” defect, as it is known among vehicle owners.

“The 2017 Volt, when put into park, does not detect it’s in park and gives a ‘shift to park’ message,” one testimonial from a Chevrolet Volt owner states. “The car will not turn off. I cannot leave the car. I am stuck rolling the car forward and back multiple times until it finally registers it’s in park and turns off. This happens intermittently and unpredictably.”

The General Motors class action lawsuit presents claims of violations of the Magnusun-Moss Warranty Act, breach of warranty, violation of the consumer protection acts In Maryland, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, fraud by omission or fraudulent concealment, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs say they want GM to be forced to notify all affected owners of the shifter defect, an order preventing the company from further deceptive distribution, sale or lease practices involving the affected vehicles, and damages and restitution.

54 Comments

  • TeresaSeptember 20, 2022 at 7:38 pm

    I started having issues with the shift to park a few weeks ago. Wouldn't happen everytime, but it got worse. I called the dealership they tell me your warranty expired on July 28th. They offered the extended warranty pay 2 yr upfront, but takes 30 days to be valid. Today I paid 700 out of pocket. Would love to know if lawsuit covers Az.

  • MichaelSeptember 14, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    2018 Chevrolet Malibu Having the same shift to park issue. When jiggling the shifter didn’t work and restarting and moving the vehicle several times didn’t work. I finally disconnected the battery to get it off(not a good solution but it got it off)

  • VivonellSeptember 13, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    The Shit to Park was repair in my 2017 Chevy Malibu twice. I had just bought a brand new Chevy Malibu and immediately the Shit to Park warning appeared and the car would not shut off. When I finally got the car running correctly, I drove it straight to the dealer. It took a month for the car to be repaired. Fast forward to 2022. The same problem just occurred again on 09/10/2022. Again, I co[Show More]The Shit to Park was repair in my 2017 Chevy Malibu twice. I had just bought a brand new Chevy Malibu and immediately the Shit to Park warning appeared and the car would not shut off. When I finally got the car running correctly, I drove it straight to the dealer. It took a month for the car to be repaired. Fast forward to 2022. The same problem just occurred again on 09/10/2022. Again, I couldn't shut off the car. It must have taken an hour before I was able to turn off my crazy Malibu. Today, I sit at the Web Chevy Dealership on Cicero Ave. just south of Chicago. I drove the car in and was informed that I will have to pay almost $800. dollars to repair this known defect. I'm mad! I shouldn't have to pay for GM's shoddy workman.

  • ScottSeptember 2, 2022 at 10:29 am

    how do you join the lawsuit?

  • EdAugust 23, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    same problem, will try to get it repaired tomorrow at the dealership.

  • BrianAugust 18, 2022 at 8:11 am

    Bought a used 2018 malibu have same issue shift to park out of warranty to many miles so GM wouldn't pay to fix it cost almost $700 to fix replaced gear shifter and added a cable.

  • MonicaAugust 16, 2022 at 5:28 pm

    I have a 2016 Chevy Malibu and I’m getting the shift to park every time I drive it been stranded before for like 2 hr trying to get it to go off

  • CynthiaJune 4, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    We purchased our 2019 Chevy Malibu in May 2019 totally unaware of this issue. We only have 17000 miles as of now, and now we had to pay $ 470 out of pocket. It's strange that this "shift to park" issue started 1 month after warranty ran out! There are many unhappy GM customers and I hope GM does a recall fast so we all can be refunded!

  • NicoleMay 6, 2022 at 11:14 am

    2018 Chevy Malibu - Noticed Shift-to-park Issue shortly after purchase! Walked away from the car a few times before realizing the car was still on: IN PARK but NOT IN PARK! I have no peace with car (afraid to drive it) because of this issue and sooooooooooooo many others!!! This is the dumbest car I've ever owned: No trunk release inside cabin; Reduced Power Issue occurred 2 days post purchase ([Show More]2018 Chevy Malibu - Noticed Shift-to-park Issue shortly after purchase! Walked away from the car a few times before realizing the car was still on: IN PARK but NOT IN PARK! I have no peace with car (afraid to drive it) because of this issue and sooooooooooooo many others!!! This is the dumbest car I've ever owned: No trunk release inside cabin; Reduced Power Issue occurred 2 days post purchase (check engine light came on and car slowed to 20 mph for NO GOOD REASON ); can't turn off cabin ventilation and have an unknown pollutant being projected vial ALL VENTS constantly (what's up with the HUGE vent on dashboard!!), which has caused health problems for me and anyone who rides with me, etc.! etc.! etc.! Shame on GM! This car is a NIGHTMARE!!!

  • AmandaApril 16, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    I bought my 2017 Acadia brand new and have the issue 5x now. They said this last time "should be the last time" First time they took care of it, said it was a circuit I believe. Second time they replaced the harness for the shifter? Some sort of harness. I paid for this in full. Third time they did a reset. Fourth time I said it was happening they didn't find that it was even happening. [Show More]I bought my 2017 Acadia brand new and have the issue 5x now. They said this last time "should be the last time" First time they took care of it, said it was a circuit I believe. Second time they replaced the harness for the shifter? Some sort of harness. I paid for this in full. Third time they did a reset. Fourth time I said it was happening they didn't find that it was even happening. Fifth time I left it at the dealership for over a week. When I dropped it off, no one made any mention that it was going to cost me anything. I waited a week and no one even called me. So I called them and they told me and said between diagnostics and actually fixing it, I was looking at over $600. I was like GTFO. I made the claim that this was a GM problem, not an Amanda problem. So the dealership (where I bought the car and have gotten 98% of my maintenance and repairs done since I got the car) got in contact with GM and I ended up paying about a third of that....and they waived the diagnostic fee too. I was grateful for that but still aggravated since it was the FIFTH TIME I've had the car in for the same problem 😑

  • JimApril 9, 2022 at 2:40 pm

    2018 just started saying Shift to Park and I got it in right away. Turns out they replaced the shifter, but it cost me $470 out pocket and 6 hours of my day waiting around to get it back. Dealer also informed me I was four days out of my warranty and didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed to tell me that, knowing about the issue and the CALSuit against GM. Nothing they could do until GM puts out a [Show More]2018 just started saying Shift to Park and I got it in right away. Turns out they replaced the shifter, but it cost me $470 out pocket and 6 hours of my day waiting around to get it back. Dealer also informed me I was four days out of my warranty and didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed to tell me that, knowing about the issue and the CALSuit against GM. Nothing they could do until GM puts out a recall. Then they would reimburse me. Frustrating!!!!

  • alexApril 2, 2022 at 1:29 pm

    Same here. I have only 25K on my 2017 Malibu and this happened costing me $480 to repair out of my own pocket. The dealerships are aware of this but cant honor until Chevy does a recall. Lets get a class action suit going!!!

  • KimMarch 4, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    I have the same problem with my 2017 Chevy Malibu. Sometimes it takes several times of trying to turn off the car before it actually signals that the car is in park. It is getting worse as time goes by. I know there is a class action lawsuit in several states but to my knowledge there is not one in Ohio. If there is please contact me. I need this fixed.

  • GregFebruary 24, 2022 at 9:11 am

    I now have the same problem with my Malibu. And of course my bumper to bumper warranty just expires. Bull!

  • LaShannaFebruary 22, 2022 at 2:10 pm

    I have a 2018 Chevrolet Traverse that when put into park dashboard states shift to park.

  • AshantiFebruary 21, 2022 at 12:59 pm

    GMC Acadia is having shift to park issue. I live in Ohio and would like to get a CAL for this for the state of Ohio.

  • HelenJanuary 15, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Yupp! Same exact problem with my 2018 Chevy Malibu. Just paid dealer/service $455.17 to repair today. I am outraged. Vehicle has 29,600 miles on it. This should have been a recall.

  • JonJanuary 6, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    My 2018 Chevy Malibu also has a similar problem.. there have been instances where my car has been in park and I have been forced to just sit in my vehicle for several minutes until my car just finally accepts that it’s in park. It’s been pretty frustrating at times. Now that we have taken it to the dealership service they are asking for $400+ to repair it even though I haven’t had the car for more[Show More]My 2018 Chevy Malibu also has a similar problem.. there have been instances where my car has been in park and I have been forced to just sit in my vehicle for several minutes until my car just finally accepts that it’s in park. It’s been pretty frustrating at times. Now that we have taken it to the dealership service they are asking for $400+ to repair it even though I haven’t had the car for more than 4 years and it has under 20,000 miles on it. Pretty ridiculous

  • StevenJanuary 2, 2022 at 3:02 am

    My Chevy is so bad I'm scared to drive it my Malibu is 2017 24000 miles only transmission problem engine problems to very dangerous to drive

  • PaulDecember 31, 2021 at 12:48 am

    I have the same problem with my 2016 Chevy Malibu. It’s obviously a known defect that GM hasn’t addressed. I also have a defect in the paint. The clear coat has deteriorated on the roof and trunk area and beginning on the hood. It appears to be a known defect on darker colors on warm climates. Mine is navy blue and I reside in south Florida.

  • charlesDecember 27, 2021 at 1:33 pm

    The same problem here I had my shift to park fixed twice and gmc refuses to reimburse me for it what a shame I will take my hard earning money to buy something else’s not a gmc in the future!!!

  • MiaDecember 24, 2021 at 8:45 am

    I have the same issue with my 2017 Malibu.

  • JosephDecember 8, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    Problem with the shifter since August of 2021. I have a 2018 Chevrolet Volt… My wife got stranded a few time didn’t know what to do. Have to keep turning vechicle on and off and shifting the shifter back and force.

  • KimDecember 7, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    We have the same problem with our 2017 Chevy Malibu but live in Ohio. I do not see a lawsuit filed for the state of Ohio.

  • ShelbyDecember 7, 2021 at 1:53 pm

    I'm having the same issues with my vehicle. I've had the car less than a year. I'm beyond upset.

  • KiancaDecember 6, 2021 at 11:12 am

    This same shift to park issue have now been going on with me for about a week. Is there anything to do for it now as far as a recall so that it can get fixed/ replaced?

  • JermaineNovember 30, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    I have the same issues..

  • AbigailNovember 26, 2021 at 10:11 am

    I have a 2016 Malibu Premier. This has been an intermittent problem for me since 2017. I have called the dealer and they tell me there are no recalls. In early November I had an incident that could have been way worse, and called the dealership again still saying " no, not yet ; only on the Traverse and Equinox. " I have had now two experiences with the vehicle in park and moving forward. .

  • JoeNovember 22, 2021 at 3:28 pm

    Happening on my 2020 Malibu. Got it hopefully fixed. We shall see.

  • ValerieNovember 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Have a 2018 Malibu my Park shift been acting up for a while turn the car off back on off again for it to go off try get fix my warrent over now cost 500-600$ get fix

  • MicheleNovember 17, 2021 at 11:56 am

    I have a 2018 Arcadia Denali! Just recently my shift to park has been giving me trouble not recognizing that it's in park. It is only getting worse! Yesterday I had to try 10 times before it would recognize that it was in park. This situation has caused me to be late for different appointments, work and school. I am getting ready to bring to the garage, but after reading these posts, I f[Show More]I have a 2018 Arcadia Denali! Just recently my shift to park has been giving me trouble not recognizing that it's in park. It is only getting worse! Yesterday I had to try 10 times before it would recognize that it was in park. This situation has caused me to be late for different appointments, work and school. I am getting ready to bring to the garage, but after reading these posts, I feel like I may be wasting my time and money. Please help me get involved with this class action lawsuit. We spend a lot of money to have a reliable vehicle to have to keep bringing it to the garage or dealer.

  • DonNovember 15, 2021 at 3:51 pm

    2018 Malibu been showing Shift to Park when it's in Park for months. Clicking shifter switch several times usually makes it go away. Been getting worse. Taking it to Dealership this week.

  • JackieNovember 13, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    2017 Malibu….happened to me 1 mo after warranty expired

  • KerryNovember 11, 2021 at 9:31 am

    This is now happening to my 2018 Chevy Malibu for the past week.

  • JamieNovember 4, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    My 2018 Chevy Traverse has been experiencing the shift to park issues for about 2 months. I am interested in the Class Action Suit.

  • MeghanNovember 1, 2021 at 2:44 am

    Our 2019 Volt started doing this recently. Why should I have to pay to get it fixed!?

  • CarlOctober 29, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    I own a 2017 Malibu LT...been having shift to park issues for months. It doesn't happen all the time, but enough for concerns to be raised.

  • KrisOctober 28, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    How do you join the class action lawsuit?

  • BrandonOctober 25, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Gladly join this cause. 2018 Malibu. In the shop now. Quoted at minimum $550 labor plus parts.

  • DustyOctober 12, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    We have a 2016 Malibu that WAS having this issue. Until today.. $440

  • ChelciaOctober 8, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    we own a 2017 Chevy Malibu. Same problem, a shift to park issue, we would like it fixed an correctly, or buy the car back...

  • DionneOctober 7, 2021 at 3:27 am

    I have a 2019 Chevy Traverse and this issue just started about 3 weeks ago. I took it in to be serviced for another issue knowing this one was happening and the Chevy dealership returned it with no acknowledgement or mention of the issue. This should definitely be a recall seeing that this is so common and ongoing.

  • DennisOctober 4, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    This just happened to our 2017 Malibu. How do we get included in the Class Action Lawsuit? Tried to talk To GM about it. They hung up on me!

  • CraigSeptember 29, 2021 at 3:50 am

    Having same problem with my 2018 Malibu Hybrid. Dealer quoting $795 to fix. Hoping a recall gets ordered.

  • StacySeptember 24, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    How do I join this lawsuit? Recently having this problem with my 2017 Malibu that only has 22,000 miles on it!

  • CrystalSeptember 23, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Our car does this. How can we be part of this lawsuit. I just want the car fixed for good instead of having to take it in every few months.

  • RachelSeptember 23, 2021 at 3:11 pm

    I have a 2018 Malibu with around 56,000 miles. This issue started last week and is getting worse each time I drive my car. Feldman Chevrolet gave me an estimate of $300 over the phone and now that it is in the shop they are saying $571. I should not be having to pay for this!

  • JennaSeptember 22, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Same issue, 2018 Chevy Traverse with 68k miles. Got it fixed for $375. Keeping my paperwork in hopes I can get some sort of refund once this lawsuit is settled.

  • DarrylSeptember 20, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    We have a 2019 Traverse with 41k mileage. This problem started about 3 weeks ago and is nearly a permanent problem to the point I use my wife's vehicle whenever I can. Had I known of this problem and its effect on using the vehicle, I would not have considered a Chevy. I won't make that mistake again. If there is a class action, please add me to the list. I am taking it to the local dealershi[Show More]We have a 2019 Traverse with 41k mileage. This problem started about 3 weeks ago and is nearly a permanent problem to the point I use my wife's vehicle whenever I can. Had I known of this problem and its effect on using the vehicle, I would not have considered a Chevy. I won't make that mistake again. If there is a class action, please add me to the list. I am taking it to the local dealership tomorrow to repair the problem under warranty, but with a $100 deductible, if they charge me for this known defect, I will put any charges immediately into CC dispute. Chevy needs to fix this pronto at no expense to the owners.

  • SeabronSeptember 20, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    My 2019 traverse just started showing this message I have spent countless amount of time trying to make it stop showing the message. My wife has even called me saying it won't stop which has caused me to have to leave work at times to try and get it to stop. I was just told even though they have seen it before its not a recall issue. Is there anyway to contact someone so that I can get included[Show More]My 2019 traverse just started showing this message I have spent countless amount of time trying to make it stop showing the message. My wife has even called me saying it won't stop which has caused me to have to leave work at times to try and get it to stop. I was just told even though they have seen it before its not a recall issue. Is there anyway to contact someone so that I can get included in this lawsuit because I find it ironic that it started right after going over the 3 year warranty.

  • JeremySeptember 10, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    I'm currently waiting for the dealership to call me back letting me know my 2016 Malibu is repaired... at a cost of $490 + tax. This is ridiculous....

  • SaraSeptember 9, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    I have a 2016 Chevy Malibu I took in 3 times to get fixed for the Shift to Park. Finally the 3rd time it was replaced which I paid for.

  • MariaSeptember 8, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    I also have a 2019 Chevy traverse that has the shift to park issues. How do I enter the lawsuit? They want me to pay $400 to fix it.

  • CandiceSeptember 4, 2021 at 4:34 am

    I recently started having the same shift into park issue in my 2019 Chevy traverse it has little over 35k miles who do I contact about this lawsuit?

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