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GMC Acadia Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Failure To Detect Vehicle in “Park”

General Motors faces a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of customers who claim GMC Acadia vehicles have defective gear shifters, which prevent them from properly placing the sport utility vehicle (SUV) in “Park” and turning the engine off.

The complaint was filed by Brandy Smith in the United States District Court Eastern District of Texas on May 14, alleging that the U.S. auto maker has known about problems with an intermittent gear shifter, yet has failed to offer a repair remedy.

Smith, who seeks class action status to pursue damages on behalf of similarly situated owners of GMC Acadia SUVs, alleges General Motors continued to manufacture and sell the vehicles for profit without offering a remedy, despite the known defect.

Smith, of Texas, claims she and hundreds of thousands of others who have purchased certain GMC Acadia models are often unable to shut off their vehicles and, to avoid battery discharge, are forced to resort to all sort of gimmicks to get their vehicles to detect that the shift lever is in fact in “Park.”

The GMC Acadia class action indicates Smith has been forced to repeatedly find new methods of turning off her vehicle, such as wiggling the shifter, shift it through its gears, and start and shut off the engine. Smith claims she has found herself stranded inside her vehicle at home, at work, at school, and at various other places away from home, unable to shut her vehicle off.

Despite Smith reporting the issues to General Motors authorized dealerships at least six times, she was told that since the intermittent defect was not noticed at the time the vehicle was inspected, no repairs could be made.

The lawsuit claims GM has been aware of the defect since at least May 29, 2018, when the manufacturer issued a Technical Service Bulletin warning customers that the vehicles may not shut off when the vehicle is put in the “Park” position.

On October 3, 2018, GM issued a subsequent announcement indicating the defect may be due to the “park switch in the transmission control (shifter) assembly not pulling BCM signal low to electronically show Park condition.” Within the notice, GM stated the defect can be corrected by replacing the transmission control assembly, yet has not offered customers experiencing the issue any remedy, nor have they issued an official recall campaign, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint details several related incidents which have been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), all expressing concerns over how the vehicle must be left running, which poses a theft and drained battery risk that could leave consumers and their occupants stranded.

As a result of this defect, Smith claims the value, safety, and use of the vehicle are diminished, leaving the burden of the defects on the consumers, all while GM profits.

Her complaint presents claims General Motors breached its contract with customers and failed to provide repairs required under the vehicle warranty, among other allegations. Further, Smith alleges GM will continue to benefit from its unlawful conduct by selling and leasing more vehicles, at a higher price, and avoiding warranty obligations, while consumers suffer from the defect.

The lawsuit calls for GM to pay monetary damages to Smith and all other similarly situated consumers who either purchased or leased 2017 through 2018 GMC Acadia vehicles in the form of a refund of the full contract price, punitive damages against the manufacturer, and a recognition of the impacted vehicles for an official recall and repair campaign.

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12 comments

  1. Jessica Reply

    I also have been stranded due to this shift to park issue in my 2018 gmc acadia. Im hoping it doesnt keep happening.

  2. James Reply

    Had the same thing happen to me in January 2020. Have a 2017 Acadia and because the official warranty period expired in Nov 2019, they charged me $500 to replace the shift assembly, even though I still have less than 36000 miles on the vehicle. I even contacted GMC customer service directly and they offered no relief.

  3. Joe Reply

    Purchased a 2017 GMC Acadia and we have same “park” shift problem. Can we get included in the suit.

  4. Jerry Reply

    Yep I’m having the same Shift to Park problem with my 2017 GMC Acadia. Any class actions in Missouri?

  5. Emily Reply

    Having the same issue with my 2017. It happened some time ago and I had it fixed at the dealer- was covered under warranty. Now happening again, but warranty is out. I’m in Missouri. Anyone filing a suit here?

  6. John Reply

    I am in Oregon and this issue stranded me and my children this past June. My repairs cost over $500 and I was only 1 month out of warranty. I own a 2017 GMC Acadia Denali with 23K miles on it. I would like to be part of a class action lawsuit.

  7. Alyson Reply

    I’ve had the issue since January 2020. The electrical unit in the shift housing console was replaced under warranty. 3 weeks later same problem. Both times the issue has caused my battery to die, now GMC won’t toe to the local dealer but wants me to commute over 1.5 hours to another dealership!
    Might be time to sell the GM and go with another company for a vehicle

  8. Louis Reply

    Our 2017 been having shifting problems also dealer put a new harness in that didn’t solve it next a shifter assembly hope this solves it I was ready to disconect the battery last nite been frustrating

  9. Ana Reply

    I have a 2018 GMC Acadia, my vehicle also had the shift to park problem, where it didn’t let me turn it off. The first time I took it to the dealership to get it fixed they “fixed” it and three weeks later the same thing happened. This was “covered” by the warranty. The second time actually yesterday 6/7/20 I took it back to sisbarros and they KEPT my vehicle Over night. Mind you they told me we will call you if we need to keep it. Never called at all! I assumed okay they will keep it. Next business day they never called me to even say it was ready. I had to call them! They told me over the phone it was covered by warranty but when I got there they said nope it’s 350.00 dollars! I never got an update on the vehicle to tell me they were going to put a new part on it. Anyways besides the terrible service at sisbarro I’m out $350 and and I can’t believe this issue has been going on for quite sometime that they can’t just issue a recall on it!

  10. Ivan Reply

    I just went to the dealership today to get my shift to park fixed for the 2nd time. I have a 2017 Acadia SLE -2. It now has 44k miles. The issue started at about 25k miles. I took it in several times and they said nothing was wrong. I made sure they noted my account and paper work. One time it did it and I video tape it with the phone. Took the video and showed it to them. By then I was past my warranty. I told them they need to make this right. They agreed. The dealer ordered the part which took 6 months to come. I called often and they said the part wasn’t in yet. Finally it came in and I took it in. The very next day after it was supposedly fixed it did it again. Did it everyday for 5 days straight. I called the dealer, they ordered another part. I waited a few weeks and got it replace today. No charge. If it does it a third time I want them to take this car back. They need to figure out this issue before someone gets in a bad predicament.

  11. Roman Reply

    We have a 2018 Acadia SLT and have been to the dealer (now) 4 times for this same issue. The most recent incident was when the car started to roll in reverse even though the car was in park. My dealer has been wonderful about it, but enough is enough, we cannot keep this car and have these constant issues.

  12. Sheryl Reply

    I am having this same issue. My car is at the dealer now.

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