Today, General Motors announced that it is recalling 473,841 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn sedans to repair a defect that causes the cars to roll forward after drivers believe the cars are in park. The automaker explained that locking tabs on a shift cable could break causing the transmission gear position to not match the gear on the shifter. In other words, the car may appear to be in Park, when in fact it is in Neutral or Drive.
At this point, GM is aware of four crashes that have resulted from this defect. Yet considering the number of cars affected by this defect, it is highly likely that more crashes have occurred.
As a car accident attorney in Chicago, I believe that this particular type of defect poses a major safety hazard that could result in serious injury or death. For example, if a driver mistakenly believes that his or her car is in Park, the car could easily be left to roll forward on its own into an unsuspecting group of people. Moreover, the driver himself could be in danger if he exited the car on an incline believing the car was in Park, and stood behind the car to remove an item from the trunk.
The recall action affects the 2007-2010 models of the Saturn Aura, the 2008-2010 models of the Chevrolet Malibu, and the 2008-2010 models of the Pontiac G6. If you own one of these models, I urge you to bring your car in to a GM dealership immediately to have the defect repaired.