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Chevrolet Malibu Shift To Park Recall

Chevy Malibu Shift to Park Recall

| by Michelle Yang, Esq.

Are you a Chevy Malibu owner who has experienced the frustrating “shift to park” message appearing on your instrument panel? You’re not alone. Many other Malibu drivers have reported this issue. If you’re experiencing this problem with your vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation under the lemon law.

In this article, we’ll dive into the details of the Chevy Malibu Shift to Park Recall and explain what you need to know to protect your rights as a consumer. Keep reading to find out more. ¿Hablas Español? Contáctenos ahora para recibir más información.

Why Your Chevy Malibu Says ‘Shift to Park’

Why Your Chevy Malibu Says 'Shift to Park'

Some Chevy Malibu vehicles may display a “shift to park” message on the instrument panel due to a malfunction in the transmission shift cable adjuster. This can cause the transmission to not be in the gear indicated on the gear shift lever. For example, the gear shift lever may indicate that the car is in “park,” but the transmission may actually be in “neutral” or another gear. This can lead to the car rolling unexpectedly and increase the risk of a crash.

The “shift to park” message is a warning to the driver that there is a problem with the transmission and the car may not be in the gear that it appears to be in.

With enough owners of these affected vehicles complaining, a class-action lawsuit against General Motors has been filed. The lawsuit was filed in the District Court for the Michigan Eastern District. Apparently, the shift to park message displayed is a result of material buildup on the park switch contacts when it activates on the shifter assembly. While not all vehicles fail, it’s a very common issue in the following models:

  • 2019 Chevrolet Blazer
  • 2018 – 2019 Chevrolet Traverse
  • 2016 – 2019 Chevrolet Volt
  • 2016 – 2019 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2017 – 2018 Chevrolet Cruze
  • 2017 – 2018 Chevrolet Bolt
  • 2017 – 2018 GMC Acadia


Since many are dealing with the same problem, customers are asking Chevrolet to issue both a recall and a permanent fix for their car. The class-action lawsuit says that representatives and experts from General Motors are aware of what’s going on, but they haven’t acted to correctly fix the vehicles in the same manner they have with the Chevy Silverado or Chevy Bolt recall.

Additionally, General Motors issued several technical service bulletins to fix different problems in various models, including the Chevrolet Malibu, since experts from the brand noticed that issues started happening so frequently.

If you get an intermittent shift to park message, you might have many consequent problems like battery drain. If you can’t turn the ignition off, the battery might continue running even if you’re not using the car.

What Does it Mean?

what does it mean by shift to park

Regardless of whether you purchased or leased your car (new or used), it’s only fair for it to function properly without this issue. Unfortunately, GM has not yet solved this shift to park issue, but here’s what you can do. When you get the shift to park message, you can take your car to the local dealership and get it fixed without paying anything if it’s still under warranty.

Drivers who get this error in their Chevy vehicles often don’t understand what it means for their car. In short, problems with your battery could lead to other issues down the road – things like more repairs, need for an engine change, or finding a new car altogether.

The class-action lawsuit was filed by three different plaintiffs in Minnesota, Maryland, and Wisconsin after hundreds of customers expressed GM their concerns and got no satisfactory response from the company.

At the same time, the GM lawsuit says General Motors know about this problem on the vehicles since it has issued several service bulletins to different dealerships, and since it was filed in August 2021, it has had a single purpose: to seek justice for the hundreds of thousands of car owners that have suffered due to this car malfunctioning.

How to Fix (shift to park message)

How Can You Fix the Shift to Park Message

Occasionally, the “shift to park” issue can be temporarily resolved by wiggling the shifter lever and changing the transmission positions a few times. However, for a more permanent solution, follow the steps below:

1. Clean the Park Switch Contacts:

  • Place the vehicle in park position and turn off the ignition.
  • Carefully disassemble and remove the shifter knob and boot assembly.
  • Using your thumb or a trim stick, fully depress the actuation rod, then release it, allowing it to snap back to the full up position. Repeat this process about 50 times to thoroughly clean the internal contacts.

2. Install the Wiring Harness Jumper:

  • Detach the front floor console trim plate to access the shift control wiring connector.
  • Connect the In-line Shifter Harness Jumper to the Shift Control assembly and attach its other end to the Body Harness.
  • Make certain the jumper is not bent or kinked at an angle greater than 90 degrees, as this may accelerate its wear and tear.

3. Replace the Transmission Control Module (TCM) if Necessary:

  • If the “shift to park” message persists even after cleaning the contacts, it may be necessary to replace the TCM.
  • Utilize a pry bar set or a flat head screwdriver, a 10mm ratchet wrench, a small metal hook, and a light source to facilitate this procedure.

Once you have completed these steps, start the vehicle and verify that the “shift to park” message has disappeared. If the issue has been resolved, carefully reassemble all disassembled components and follow the appropriate reinstallation procedures to prevent causing cosmetic or other damage to your vehicle.

Why Your Vehicle Can’t Go into Park Position

Why Your Vehicle Can't Go into Park Position


Your vehicle requires a series of electrical controls, and they all must work perfectly so you, the driver, can rely on all its functions. Unfortunately, some Chevrolet models have had issues over the past years, which has been very uncomfortable for owners.

Ever since the shift to park problem happened for the first time, owners have felt disappointed in their Malibu cars because they expected much better quality. The lawsuit is meant to give everyone the justice they deserve, especially considering that not fixing the issue could put you and your loved ones at risk.

If your gear shifter isn’t working and you keep getting the bothersome shift to park message, you might want to take your vehicle to the driver information center to get some experts to check it out. If it’s a Buick Lacrosse, a Malibu, or one of the other models that usually have this issue, you may now understand what’s happening to your car.

What Happens if the Vehicles Fail?

What Happens if the Vehicles Fail?


Some people believe that having trouble with the gear shifter is not very important, which is why they tend to ignore it. Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that you must talk to your dealership as soon as you can since you could be at risk, particularly if you drive long distances every day.

When the shift to park message appears, it means you can’t turn the ignition off. Unfortunately, that could cause your battery to drain completely. Suppose that you get in your vehicle and it refuses to function, seemingly unable to turn on, and you notice that the battery light is flashing on the panel.

People that go through that need to wait for help to recharge or replace their battery, which could cause you to waste precious time. If it happens on a workday, it might be worse. Overall, you could avoid it, especially if the warranty still covers your vehicle and you can contact GM to fix the issue.

What Can Happen to the Affected Vehicles?

In many cases, customers have asked what they can do to join and support the lawsuit. It’s very common if your dealership is asking you for a lot of money to fix your Chevrolet.

Even though GM has not given customers an answer for the problems they’re having, the lawsuit claims breach of warranty, fraud by omission, unjust enrichment, and several other things. Additionally, its primary concern is to prevent GM from selling more of these vehicles and to cover the damages that clients have suffered so far.

The lawsuit was filed on August 2021 and GM is still in a legal struggle, but customers are not willing to let go since thousands of them want to fight for their rights. If you’re going through this, you are entitled to reimbursement as well.

Final Thoughts

Information about the GM lawsuit regarding the shift to park issue has driven many people to want to join in and get what they deserve for the problems they’ve been through.

If you’ve purchased or leased one of these models in California and need legal help, contact Cali Lemon Lawyers to get experienced and knowledgeable experts to guide you.

More Chevy Recalls & Lemon Law Info

Interested in learning more about other recent Chevy Recalls? Click on any of the links below:

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