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Chevrolet Malibu Shift To Park Recall

Chevy Malibu Shift to Park Recall

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:

Comments (50)
  • I just had to have this fixed on my 2016 Chevy Malibu yesterday and had to pay $750 to have it fixed by my Chevy dealer at Sands Chevrolet in Surprise, Arizona. My car doesn’t even have 15,000 miles on it. Also I do not have an extended warranty on it as I am retired and can’t afford it.

    I would like to see the manufacturer have a recall for this.

    Maryann Rogers

    • I have a 2019 Chevy Malibu with 69,000 which IS NOT BAD AT ALL….
      I have had nothing but issues with my vehicle,, Paid like $2,220.00 through dealer for different issues.
      Then already paid $1,400.00 already to my mechanic and no one can figure out why my car stalls but then engine does NOT SHUT OFF, NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT, no codes are coming up when hooked up to scanner. The shift to park also appears in my car and I have to literally fight with it in order for it to go off so my car will shut off. This is crazy and anyone that has a chevy and is having these issues THERE SHOULD BE A RECALL!!! This is insane and unfair…

  • I also have the shift to park message display on occasion. I have 2018 Malibu with less than 20,000 miles. Took it to Hawk Chevy in Joliet,Illinois they told me about 1,000 dollars to fix. Since my used purchased car is out of warranty, I would have to pay for the fix no ifs ands or buts. Thanks Chevy!!

  • I have this happening now. The first time it was fixed as it was under warranty. Now they say it’s not under warranty so I still get the “shift to park” message. This should be a recall and fixed for the consumer. I have a 2016 Chevy Malibu. Where’s the help for us?

  • This IS a design flaw, I unfortunately have a 2018 MALIBU, and I KNOW THEY KNEW ABOUT IT WHEN I BOUGHT THE CAR IN 2019 as a “leftover”. I can usually can get it into park by slamming the shifter back and forth. I know this is not right, but to have this design flaw fixed – will cost $ + 500., and I am told they replace the harness with another design flawed part that they KNOW will have the same issue! It is going to be hard getting rid of this car as I know they will say, “oh, but this car has the park issue…”. I will never buy a GM / Chevy product again, and the dealer that sold it to me, a very much less than ethical business!!

  • im having this problem now….2019 malibu 63000 miles….dealer says 4-5 hundred to fix it. thats a crock…not happy at all….had to replace battery month ago…i dont have 4-5 hundred at this time as im on disabilityand retired.

  • I’m having the same issue with my 2018 malibu, which only has 40,000 miles on it. They need to recall this issue ASAP, it’s unfair that customers have to pay out of pocket to fix the problem. This was my first and last time buying a malibu they are a piece of crap!

  • My Mom had this issue, I returned it to where we purchased it to find out the factory warranty had ran out 3 months ago. I paid $566. I would like to see a recall and have GM acknowledge that this is a defective part.
    I kept the old shifter assembly, and have zero faith that the replacement will last. If GM doesn’t address this then a report to BBB or NTSB and class action lawsuit is likely result.

  • I have a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu with 42,400 miles. This shift to park has started. Lost a battery as well. Dealer claims this will be a $400.00 fix. I purchased the extended warranty but that expired last August.. GM should have stepped up and put a recall on this design flaw.
    I will be purchasing a Ford next time.

  • Cathy Bartus adamson

    Having the same problem with “ shift to park” with 2019 Malibu. It has 32,000 miles. With so many customer complaints this should be a recall. Many retired folks can’t afford to pay for repairs on a vehicle that is flawed . Step up GM! Losing business may be the next option for buyers!!!

  • We purchased a 2018 Malibu brand new . We have had problems several times with it. Now we have to use a screwdriver to get it in gear We took it back to the dealership and they said it was not under the warranty. We will never owned another Malibu

  • The part that goes bad is a micro switch cost 2 dollars and you are all correct in assuming it will most likely malfunction in the future. This micro switch was installed in most GM cars from 2010 to current models GM has made a fortune on replacing the full harness that is unnecessary on my 2014 Cadillac ELR it sometimes will say shift to park. I tap on the console near the shifter and the locking process finishes my dealer quoted me 300 to fix it but I know it will be only temporary so why waste the money. I love my ELR so I will keep it and when it rarely does this shift to park message I will likely tape on the shifter and live another day. I’m not holding my breath that there will be a recall but for all of you out there I’m hoping GM will do the right thing.

  • We have the same issue, my car is a 2018 and has 50,000 miles but was doing it before it reached that. We had to take it in to the shop and they had it for over a month to fix a issue . But not that one.

  • Samantha Powell – North Carolina

    I have the same issue with my 2019 Chevy Malibu. I am not in warranty because I am over the allowed mileage. GM should totally recall these vehicles.

  • I’ve had that issue since We bought our 2018 Malibu in October 2018. I finally found a customer sight a year ago that said to put car into park and count to 6 before turning it off at the push button. Only had it a few time last year doing that.
    I had to replace the $250 dollar battery in November and since have had some issues with the auto stop/start not restarting even a few times when had it in the L position at stop light to stop the auto stop from happening. I see on Amazon there is a product that plugs into the hood open circuit to eliminate the auto stop feature without triggering an check engine light

  • I am having this same issue with my 2015 Cadillac SRX.
    Quote from sealer service was $500.00 I guess I’ll find out when I pick it up tomorrow.

  • 2020 chevy malibu here and same thing now lights on shifter blink when in park and battery totally dead a few weeks back did they issue a recall on this ??

  • I am also having this problem with my shift to park on my 2017 Chevy Malibu with a little over 49,000 miles on it. Can’t get fixed because no code shows up and didn’t act up at garage . I bought this car used from Germain Honda of Naples Fl.. Nov. 4 2022 and under a month it started acting up. They said they couldn’t fix it as it is a Chevy. I lost my 2014 Honda accord with a little over 23,000 miles on it to hurricane Ian. I spent all the money I had buying that car and couldn’t afford the extended warranty and can’t afford expensive repairs. It has hindered my independence. Shame on the dealership and Chevrolet. After everything that has happened in the last few years buying this car is the straw that broke the camel’s back

  • I have a 2019 Malibu and I am having the same shift to park issue. Why hasn’t GM issued a recall? Surely there should be a recall with so many customer complaints.

  • This is a recall issue so many people are having the same problem !!! What is the problem ?? How many people have to get hurt before this is fixed ???? Get this done RECALL !!!!

  • 2017 Malibu and just started having this issue about 1 month ago. Really hoping a recall happens as it seems with so many having the same issues this would be the right thing to do by GM.

  • I have a 2019 Malibu with the same problem “put car into park”. This was already fixed once by Chevy under warranty, now same problem and I am going to have to pay? Chevy wake up, people can take their business elsewhere.

  • My 2018 Malibu has produced this error code too. In the repair shop today for maintenance and transmission issues. Dealership scheduled for Wednesday morning.

  • I am having the same issue. I also had. A transmission failure message. The dealership is refusing to do anything. They said there is nothing wrong after driving the car for 40 some miles. Now my alternator is going bad and my battery needs to be replaced. I have a 2018 traverse. I am ready to sue GM or whatever it takes for them to fix this problem. I will never buy another Chevy after this issue and the unsatisfactory way I have been treated!

  • Samuel W Buckner

    I have a 2021 Chevy Malibu RS. This shift issue started about 13,000 miles. Took it to the dealer last week, they kept the car for 4 days. The day after I picked it up it started giving the same warning.

  • I have the same problem on a 2020 chevy malibu with 54,000 miles, does anyone know if it is covered by the power train warranty?

  • 2019 Malibu with 68000 miles on it. Just started to get the same message “shift to park” message. It cost me $600 to get it fixed!!!! There should definitely be a recall on this defect.

  • I had this repaired today at the dealer on a 2018 Malibu with 26000 miles. They replaced a shift lock switch & a jumper harness. It had all the symptoms others mentioned. Hope this fixes the problem as it cost over $600.

  • I have a 2018 Chevy Malibu 55K miles on it with this same shift to park message going on a couple months. It’s getting harder and harder to get it to park and turn off. I rely on this vehicle for work, what am I going to do? I’m out of warranty, living in a state with no support. Where is the RECALL!?

  • Antonieta Vazquez

    I have the same problem on my 2018 Malibu. Already got fix once under warranty, took them 3 weeks to return the car. Now is doing it again. No more under warranty and they want to charge 700.00 to fix it!!!!! Why we have to suffer and pay for a Manufacturing issue. They know about this problem and still selling this Models knowing about it!!!! This should be penalized…

  • I have a 2018 Chevy Malibu with 44,000 miles. I started getting the “Shift into Park” message a few weeks ago. It does not do it every time but it is annoying when it does. Chevy please fix the problem!!!!

  • We have a 2019 Malibu that has been giving the error code “shift to park” for several months now. Dealership wants a lot of money just to even look at it. Is there any way to find out if GM has responded to the class action lawsuit? There are a lot of us who need to get this resolved and not at our own expense! Definitely needs to be a recall!

  • 2019 Malibu about 36 thousand miles on it. Got the message a few times. Going to dealership tomorrow. Says I have to pay deductible and warranty will pay the rest. Never heard of this. Appears from all the messages above that it is a common issue so I agree it needs to be a recall. Dealership did check for a recall said no recalls. Up state NY

  • I bought a 2017 Malibu a year ago and today the shift to park message refused to go away. I bought an extended warranty but it doesn’t cover the shifter. Paid $170 for a diagnostic though. My husband is trying to fix it himself but I don’t think it can be fixed. What a waste.

  • Hilda Cacciavillani

    I have a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu and I have the Shift to Park Message. I am out of warranty and my dealership told me about 400. Why GM haven’t put a recall? I was considering buying a Blazer, but now I am not sure. I do enjoy my GM cars, but where is their loyalty to us?

  • I have a 2019 Malibu and I’m starting to have the same shift to park pop up. Have my appointment 2 weeks away I use my car for work also. I’ll be back with more comments after my appointment.

  • I have just recently bought a 2021 Chevy Malibu and I’m also having the same shift to Park message display.. Hope they do something quick to fix this problem. Vehicles cost to damn much as it is…..

  • I have 2018 Chevy Malibu and I am having same problem with Shift To Park oh and also the Malibu’s are known for Rear Knuckles to go bad and go figure mine are bad. And my extended warranty will not cover any of it. I am Furious.

  • We bought our daughter a 2019 Chevy Malibu, it has under 30K miles and she is now having this same issue. We can afford to pay out of pocket…. We are in TN and she attends college in LA. It’s bad enough to worry about the long drive and now knowing that her car is not safe. It’s overwhelming and frustrating.

  • I have a 2020 Malibu with 11,000 miles. The shift to park message started occurring two weeks ago. Five days ago it was so bad every place I went it took forever to get the car to shut off. Dropped it off at the dealership the next day. I finally got it back today and it cost me $576! My warranty ran out a month and a half ago and my extended warranty didn’t cover it. Figures!! They need to do something about this. It’s sad that a car with such low miles has had something go wrong with it already and it seems to be a common problem for Malibus. Very irritated!

  • Well this is all depressing. 2019 Malibu 63,000 miles. Just started getting shift to park message. Dealership says $100 to $300 fix but after everything I read here not sure it I should because maybe it’s been fixed by original owner and they traded it in for this reason. Drat!!!

  • My 2022 Malibu started with this problem today. My car has less than 19,000 miles. I’m calling my dealership tomorrow and I’m hoping this will be covered under warranty. How has there not been a recall?

  • My 2018 Chevy Mailbu lost power to no gas no brakes to driving like this for five minutes to shutting down to shift to park messages I almost died in my car to scary please help me it’s only car I have

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