A proposed class action claims certain 2017-2018 GMC Acadia models suffer from a transmission defect whereby an affected vehicle fails to detect that the driver has placed the car in “park.”
According to the 19-page suit, an Acadia’s failure to recognize it’s been put in park prevents the driver from being able to shut off and lock the vehicle. An affected vehicle will instead display a “shift to park” message on the instrument cluster even though the gear shifter has already been moved to the “park” position, the lawsuit says.
“As a result of this Shifter Defect,” the complaint reads, “Plaintiff and members of the Class are unable to shut off their vehicles and, to avoid battery discharge, are forced to resort to all sorts of gimmicks to get their vehicles to detect that the shift lever is in fact in ‘Park.’”
The plaintiff, a Memphis driver, alleges defendant General Motors LLC has been given “reasonable opportunities” to fix the shifter defect yet has been unable to do so within a reasonable period of time.
Per the complaint, GM has profited off selling and leasing vehicles that, unbeknownst to consumers, are stricken by the shifter defect. The plaintiff asserts neither he nor any other proposed class member would have bought or leased a GMC Acadia, or would have paid substantially less for the vehicle, had they known of the issue.
Many drivers are forced to repeatedly wiggle the gear shifter of their GMC Acadia, shift the vehicle through its gear, and start and shut off the engine in order to get the car to recognize it is in park, the suit says. The case includes a ream of complaints submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with regard to the apparent defect.
General Motors is well aware of the issue, the complaint says, nodding to a May 2018 technical service bulletin titled “VEHICLE DISPLAYS SHIFT TO PARK MESSAGE ON DIC WHEN IN PARK. VEHICLE MAY NOT SHUT OFF WHEN PUT IN PARK OR MAY NOT START.” A subsequent service bulletin, sent in October 2018, also references the issue and even indicated a possible cause of the problem and corrective measure.
Nevertheless, the purported fix came too late for some drivers given GM began selling the “unmerchantable” Acadia models more than two years prior, the lawsuit alleges.
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