GMC Acadia drivers complain about Shift to Park warnings and SUVs that cannot be shut down.

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GMC Acadia Shifter Problems Cause Lawsuit
GMC Acadia drivers complain about Shift to Park warnings and SUVs that cannot be shut down.

— GMC Acadia shifter problems have caused a lawsuit that alleges "Shift to Park" messages appear when the SUVs fail to detect that drivers shifted the transmissions into PARK.

Plaintiff Rilla Jefferson filed the class action lawsuit on behalf of former and current Tennessee owners and lessees of 2017-2018 GMC Acadia SUVs.

Drivers claim the GMC Acadia gear shifter problems prevent them from shutting off and locking the vehicles, while Shift to Park messages appear on the instrument panels even though the shifters are in PARK.

The lawsuit alleges batteries drain because the SUVs cannot be shut off, a problem General Motors allegedly conceals so the Acadias can be sold at high prices to unsuspecting consumers.

Although GM has taken steps to correct the Acadia shifter problems, the plaintiff says the automaker has never truly repaired the defects because drivers continue to see the Shift to Park messages.

Plaintiff Rilla Jefferson purchased a new 2017 GMC Acadia allegedly plagued with defects, including gear shifter problems which occurred in May 2018. The plaintiff complained to the GM dealer but no repairs were performed and technicians allegedly did not document her complaint.

The Acadia allegedly won't start, will hesitate while starting and suffers from the shifter problems.

In June 2018, Jefferson took her Acadia to a dealership which attempted to repair the vehicle by replacing the battery, something she says didn't help at all. Her SUV allegedly didn't know when it was in PARK and would not restart once the engine was turned off.

In July 2018, the dealer inspected the Acadia but allegedly did not attempt any repairs.

The plaintiff's lawyer sent a letter to General Motors in November 2018 informing the automaker about the Acadia shifter problems and how her vehicle hadn't been repaired.

In March 2019, the plaintiff took the SUV to a dealership again and was told she would have to pay for an inspection and possible repairs. According to the class action, the Acadia was never repaired while it was under warranty.

GM has allegedly tried to do something about the GMC Acadia shifter problems because the automaker issued a technical service bulletin (TSB PIT5616A) in May 2018 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.

The TSB said the cause of the problem was unknown and that engineers were investigating the root cause.

In October 2018, GM issued TSB 18-NA-297, entitled “Message Displaying Shift to Park when in Park.”

Dealerships were told:

“Some customers may comment on an intermittent Shift to Park message when in Park and turning off the vehicle. The 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.”

In addition, dealers were told the shifter problem could be corrected by replacing the transmission control assembly.

However, Acadia customers claim the gear shifter problems have continued after the SUVs were allegedly repaired.

The GMC Acadia shifter problem lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee: Jefferson, et al., v. General Motors LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by the Lafferty Law Firm, Inc., and Lemberg Law. has owner-reported complaints about GMC Acadia SUVs.


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