Acadia drivers say they see 'Shift to Park' warnings even though the gear shifters are in PARK.

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GMC Acadia 'Shift to Park' Lawsuit Filed in Texas
Acadia drivers say they see 'Shift to Park' warnings even though the gear shifters are in PARK.

— A GMC Acadia "Shift to Park" lawsuit alleges drivers receive warning messages because the vehicles fail to detect the drivers moved the transmission shifters into PARK.

This allegedly prevents a driver from shutting off and locking the Acadia, even though the shifter is already in PARK.

The "Shift to Park" class action lawsuit includes all consumers in Texas who bought or leased 2017-2018 GMC Acadia SUVs.

Plaintiff Brandy Smith purchased a new 2017 GMC Acadia and in April 2017 she noticed the "Shift to Park" warning, causing her to take the SUV to the dealership a few days later. She complained about the problem but technicians couldn't replicate the incident, therefore no repairs were performed.

The plaintiff says she has been unable to shut off the Acadia on multiple occasions, with one incident occuring at a hospital when she allegedly couldn't shut down the vehicle.

One incident caused the plaintiff to wiggle the gear shifter, "shift it through its gears, or drive an additional distance and then attempt again." The lawsuit alleges GM failed to repair the Acadia, and finally the plaintiff was allegedly told any repair attempts would need to be paid by her.

The plaintiff was initially included in a separate GMC Acadia "Shift to Park" class action titled Napoli-Bosse et al. v. General Motors LLC that was dismissed.

Acadia drivers claim their batteries drain because the vehicles cannot be shut off when the defect occurs, causing owners to allegedly "resort to all sort of gimmicks to get their vehicles to detect that the shift lever is in fact in 'Park.'”

General Motors allegedly benefits from unlawful conduct by avoiding warranty responsibilities concerning a problem dealers don't know how to fix.

According to the driver of a 2018 GMC Acadia, the problem has literally depressed them over their choice to buy the vehicle.

"2018 GMC Acadia purchased a little over a year ago began having trouble detecting when the vehicle was in park. The computer would play a very loud alert and the message "shift to park" would flash. I would have to work with 5 or 6 times to get the vehicle to register it was in park. I'm so disappointed."

And the owner of a 2017 Acadia felt the result of going a short distance beyond the warranty period.

"I pulled into my garage on 7 June 2019, and placed my vehicle into park, applied the parking brake and then turned off the vehicle and an Action Required message came up with Shift to Park. I started my vehicle and disengaged the park brake backed up and then came forward again and turned the vehicle off and the same message appeared. I played with the shifter and after about 5 minutes, the alert went off."

The owner says she and her husband decided to wait until Monday to take the Acadia to the dealership, but by Monday the SUV had about 36,189 miles on it. That put it 189 miles over the warranty period.

"I was told that they could do a diagnostic test that will cost me $135 to see if they could find out what the problem is and that it wasn't going to be covered by the warranty because I was over 36,000 miles. I have an appointment to take it in the morning and the dealer is over 50 miles away so I'll be even more over the warranty miles."

The customer says she loves the vehicle but is not happy about being forced to pay out-of-pocket for a problem the automaker knows about but has no clue how to fix.

"When I read on this site about all of the other problems, I thought it was worth posting and then maybe eventually GMC will own up to the fact that there is a problem and maybe do a recall to fix the problem in the near future. My husband called GMC and was told that we should keep our receipts for any costs incurred and if there was a recall that maybe we could be reimbursed."

According to the plaintiff who filed the lawsuit, she has repeatedly found herself "stranded inside her vehicle a home, at work, at school, and at various other places away from home, unable to shut her vehicle off."

GM allegedly knows about the "Shift to Park" issue because in May 2018, the automaker issued technical service bulletin (TSB) PIT5616A 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.” GM allegedly says the cause is “unknown” but “[e]ngineering is still investigating the root cause.”

In October 2018, TSB 18-NA-297 was issued entitled “Message Displaying Shift to Park when in Park.” The TSB says “[s]ome customers may comment on an intermittent Shift to Park message when in Park and turning off the vehicle,” and “[t]he cause of the condition may be the park switch in the transmission control (shifter) assembly not pulling BCM signal low to electronically show Park condition.”

GM dealerships were told to replace the transmission control shifter assemblies.

According to the plaintiffs, GM should refund the full purchase price of each Acadia and either replace the vehicles are repair them correctly and extend the warranties.

The GMC Acadia "Shift to Park" lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas: Smith, et al., v. General Motors LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by Lemberg Law, L.L.C. has owner-reported complaints about GMC Acadia SUVs.


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