The 2020 Chevy Malibu Shift to Park Recall

General Motors (GM) is being criticized for ongoing problems with the “Shift to Park” defect, which hinders drivers from turning off and locking their vehicles. This defect impacts owners and lessees of various GMC and Chevrolet models.

Many drivers have voiced their frustration with the shift-to-park problem, recounting instances where they had to repeatedly adjust and jiggle the electronic shifter to make it recognize the ‘Park’ position.

Two bearded brutal mechanics repairing a car in the garage,lemonlawassist

Due to this problem, General Motors (GM) has issued a recall to address and fix the issue, yet almost 2 years later, some of the issues raised have not been solved.

What is the Shift to Park Issue?

The “Shift to Park” issue in certain GMC and Chevrolet models, including the 2020 Chevy Malibu, occurs when the vehicle’s system fails to recognize that the gear shifter has been placed in the park position. 

This malfunction is tied to a fault in the vehicle’s electronic shifter system, which is supposed to confirm that the car is safely in park before turning off the ignition.

When this system doesn’t work correctly, the car’s dashboard will display a “Shift to Park” message, even though the shifter is already in park. This prevents the car from being turned off and locked, leading to potential safety risks and inconvenience for drivers who cannot leave their vehicle until the system registers the car as being in park.

This problem is similar to the concerns highlighted about CVT transmission reliability, where vehicle systems fail to perform as expected.

How It Affects Car Owners

The “Shift to Park” issue causes significant inconvenience and potential safety risks for car owners. Many have expressed frustration as they must repeatedly jiggle or adjust the shifter to try and get the car’s system to recognize it is in park. This wastes time and can be stressful, especially if the driver is in a hurry or unsafe location.

Also, the inability to turn off and lock the vehicle can leave owners feeling unsafe, as they may be unable to secure their vehicle and leave it unattended. The persistent problem can lead to anxiety about when and where the issue might occur next.

customer at vehicle showroom choosing new car,lemonlawassist

For those affected, this defect is more than just a minor annoyance—it often necessitates visits to dealerships for repairs, which can be costly and time-consuming. Moreover, if the car unexpectedly rolls away due to not being securely in park, it could lead to accidents or damage, increasing the potential for harm to the driver and others.

General Motors Response to the Issue

General Motors has acknowledged the “Shift to Park” defect in various models, including the 2020 Chevy Malibu, and has issued recalls to address the problem. They have provided information to dealerships on how to fix the issue, primarily involving repairs or replacements of the faulty shifter components.

GM has also told owners about the recall, advising them to visit authorized dealers where the necessary repairs can be carried out at no cost. This response is part of GM’s effort to ensure the safety of their vehicles and maintain trust among consumers.

repairing moto engline, lemonlawassist

However, some owners report mixed experiences with the effectiveness of the repairs, indicating that the issue may not always be resolved on the first attempt. This has led to continued frustrations for some drivers, who have repeatedly returned to dealerships for further interventions.

Legal Recourse for Affected Owners

Owners of vehicles affected by the “Shift to Park” defect have several legal options available. Under lemon laws, which vary by state, owners can seek remedies if their vehicle has a recurring problem that dealerships cannot fix within a reasonable number of attempts. Depending on the severity and recurrence of the problem, the “Shift to Park” issue could mean qualifying for a replacement vehicle, refund or cash and keep settlement, depending on the situation.

To pursue a lemon law claim, owners should keep detailed records of all repair attempts and any communications with dealerships and General Motors. This documentation is crucial for building a strong case. Additionally, consulting with a lemon law attorney can provide guidance and improve the chances of a successful claim.

Owners may also join class-action lawsuits if available. These lawsuits can provide collective legal action for multiple affected individuals, potentially leading to settlements or court judgments that address the defect and compensate owners for their troubles.

Steps to Take if Your Car is Affected

If you own a vehicle that is experiencing the “Shift to Park” issue, there are several steps you can take to address the problem. First, contact your local dealership and inform them about the issue. Since this is a recognized defect, repairs related to the “Shift to Park” problem should be covered under the recall.

Document the issue

Keep a detailed record of every instance when the “Shift to Park” message appears. Note the date, time, and conditions under which the issue occurs.

Visit a dealership

Schedule an appointment with a certified dealership to examine and repair the issue. Make sure to show them the documentation of the problem.

Check for Recalls

You can look up your vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website to see if it is eligible for any recalls related to this issue.

Follow Up

After the repair, monitor your vehicle closely to see if the issue persists. If it does, return to the dealership for further assessment.

Hire a Lemon Law Assist Attorney!

If you are dealing with the “Shift to Park” issue in your GM vehicle, don’t wait for the problem to worsen. Contact your local dealership to discuss the recall and get the necessary repairs. If the issue persists after multiple repair attempts, it might be time to seek legal advice.

At Lemon Law Assist, our attorney in Los Angeles can guide you through the process and help you secure a fair resolution. 

Taking action on time can save you time and frustration and ensure your driving safety. Contact us now to get started!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Malibu saying “shift to park”?

Your Malibu displays “shift to park” because of a known issue with the electronic shifter. The shifter fails to detect when the vehicle is properly in park, requiring adjustments until the system recognizes the correct gear position.

What is the shift to park recall?

The shift to park recall addresses a defect in some Chevy Malibu models where the car does not recognize that it has been shifted into park, preventing the vehicle from being turned off and locked properly.

Are there any recalls on Chevy Malibu?

Yes, there have been recalls on Chevy Malibu, including those related to the “Shift to Park” issue. Owners should check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website for specific recall information.

What is the most common problem with Chevy Malibu?

One of the most common problems reported with the Chevy Malibu is related to the transmission, particularly the “Shift to Park” message issue. Other concerns include engine malfunctions and electrical issues.

Are Chevy Malibus known for transmission problems?

Yes, Chevy Malibus has been known for having transmission problems, including issues with the transmission control module and difficulties with shifting gears properly.

What year is the best Chevy Malibu to buy?

The best Chevy Malibu models to buy are generally regarded from the years after major redesigns that addressed previous issues, with 2016 and newer models often recommended due to improvements in reliability and features.

Is Chevy Malibu a good buy?

The Chevy Malibu can be a good buy, especially in newer models that offer advanced safety features and improved reliability. However, potential buyers should be aware of the model’s history with transmission issues and consider extended warranties.

Are Chevy Malibus expensive to maintain?

Chevy Malibus are moderately expensive to maintain compared to other vehicles in their class. They are not the cheapest, but mid-size sedans’ maintenance and repair costs are generally average.

Why did Chevy stop making Malibu?

Chevy has not officially discontinued the Malibu as of the latest models; however, there are speculations about future discontinuations as part of a shift towards more electric and hybrid vehicles in Chevrolet’s lineup.


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These lawsuits claim that Nissan refused to admit the CVT transmission was defective. Instead, they tried to disguise the defects with inadequate repairs. Although some lawsuits have been settled, Nissan continues to install these faulty CVTs in newer models.

Nissan offers warranties that may cover CVT transmission problems. Knowing what is covered and how to file a claim is essential. This guide will help you navigate the warranty process and explain what to do if your claim is denied.

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