Typically, when you think about problems a vehicle can have, you think about issues that prevent it from running. The car won’t turn on, or turns off at random times. While these issues are undoubtedly dangerous, they aren’t the only running-related issue your car can face. Chevy owners in Illinois have recently filed a lawsuit alleging that they’re having the opposite problem: their cars won’t turn off.
The lawsuit only covers people and organizations who bought these vehicles in Illinois, not nationwide. However, if enough Chevy cars have had these problems to warrant a class-action lawsuit in one state, the issues can likely be found across the country. For instance, if you live in California, you’re still at risk for these issues if you bought one of the affected cars.
You don’t have to simply accept these problems, of course. Instead, you can educate yourself about them and take steps to get them fixed. Here’s what you need to know about the Chevy lawsuit, why the problem is so dangerous, and how to get your car fixed if you’re in California.
What Are Chevy Shift-to-Park Errors?
The Illinois lawsuit focuses on errors with the brand’s “shift-to-park” feature. With shift-to-park, the car requires the driver to put the car in park before the doors lock and the electrical systems turn off. However, customers report that when they try to do so, the vehicles’ instrument dashboard reports an error: “Shift to Park.” This error occurs when the shifter is already in park.
The only way to resolve the problem is to experiment with the vehicle’s settings. The driver may need to shift the car through its gears, turn the engine off and on, and even drive the car around before the “Shift to Park” message disappears.
The problem isn’t restricted to a single Chevrolet vehicle model. It’s found across multiple models and engine types, including regular gas and hybrids. The affected vehicles include:
- Chevrolet Malibus made between 2016 and 2019
- Chevrolet Volts made between 2016 and 2019
- Chevrolet Traverses made in 2018 and 2019
- Chevrolet Blazers made in 2019
Chevy has known about the problem for a while but has not fixed it. The company began issuing technical service bulletins about the issue nearly five years ago, in January 2017. However, the problem was not resolved and continued to appear in the manufacturer’s vehicles for the next two years.
Why Shift-to-Park Issues Are Problematic
A shift-to-park error isn’t as deadly as other engine and transmission problems, but it’s still problematic. This is because the error affects the rest of the vehicle’s systems.
The car will not turn off as long as the shifter has not recognized that the vehicle is in park. The engine will turn off, but the electrical systems will not. Furthermore, the car may not lock its doors as long as the electrical systems are still running.
Both of these are significant issues for drivers. If a car’s electrical systems don’t turn off, but the engine isn’t running, the battery will quickly be depleted. At best, this leads to an expensive battery replacement, and at worst, it may mean the car not starting in an emergency.
The doors refusing to lock is also an issue. The ignition won’t release the key in many cars until the electrical systems have turned off. This means that not only will the doors not lock, but also that the key is stuck in the ignition slot. If drivers can’t convince the shifter that it’s genuinely in park, they are forced to leave their car open with the key ready to turn, making it a perfect target for thefts.
Between the two problems, the shift-to-park error makes Chevy cars almost undrivable. They’re more prone to expensive battery replacements, they may not start when they’re needed, and they require drivers to babysit them before they can be parked and left alone without risking theft.
Can You Get Your Chevy Parking Problems Repaired?
The traditional method of having warrantee problems like the shift-to-park errors repaired is to work with the manufacturer. Unfortunately, the plaintiffs in the Illinois lawsuit allege that Chevy has not helped them with the issues. According to the plaintiffs, Chevrolet has required them to pay for both parts and the repairs themselves. Furthermore, they allege that the repairs didn’t actually resolve the issue.
Luckily, California has strict car warranty laws. If you’ve purchased a Chevy that has experienced the shift-to-park issue, you have better options for getting things repaired. You can follow these steps:
- Document the issue. To get your Chevy fixed, you need to document that you’re having the shift-to-park problem. Take pictures and videos when it occurs. Then take it to a mechanic as soon as possible and save that documentation, too.
- Take the car to the Chevy manufacturer. If you can, take your vehicle to the local Chevy dealership to have the issue repaired. Bring the documentation that you’re having the problem with you. These people are the experts and will understand how to fix the problem. If anyone can fix it, they should be able to. Furthermore, they’re obliged to resolve the issue as per your warranty.
- Make a lemon law claim. If Chevy tries to block your repair or force you to pay for it, you should fight back. You can file a lemon law claim to make Chevy take the problem seriously. A lemon law claim can even result in having your car replaced or refunded if the manufacturer can’t fix the problem for good.
File Your Chevy Lemon Claim Right Away
If you’re going to drive anywhere, you need to be able to stop when you get there. The current GM and Chevy shift-to-park issues make it dangerous to do that. You shouldn’t be worried on every drive that you’ll be unable to park your car when you arrive. The best way to get this fixed is to file your lemon law claim today.
Reach out to the experts at Johnson & Buxton today to learn how they can help you. Whether you just want your vehicle fixed or you think it needs to be replaced entirely, the Lemon Law Guys can help you figure out your next steps.