GMC Acadia 'Shift to Park' Lawsuit Certified as Class Action

Tennessee class action alleges GMC Acadias cannot be shut off even when shifted into PARK.

GMC Acadia 'Shift to Park' Lawsuit Certified as Class Action

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— A GMC Acadia "Shift to Park" lawsuit has been certified as a class action, but only for customers in Tennessee.

The class action lawsuit alleges 2017-2018 GMC Acadia SUVs have defects that cause Shift to Park messages to appear even though the vehicles are already shifted into PARK.

The GMC Acadia allegedly won't stop running when the Shift to Park message displays.

Tennessee plaintiff Rilla Jefferson purchased a new 2017 GMC Acadia that began having problems shortly after she bought the vehicle. The plaintiff asserts her Acadia wouldn't shut off when she shifted into PARK and tried to turn off the SUV. This is when she saw the Shift to Park message.

According to the plaintiff, she had to jiggle the gear shifter from PARK to NEUTRAL or DRIVE and then put the shifter back into the PARK position.

“The Subject Vehicle never rolled away [and] Ms. Jefferson was always able to start and turn off the Subject Vehicle. Plaintiff drove the Subject Vehicle regularly between the time when she purchased it in October of 2017 and when she traded in the vehicle in February of 2021." — GMC Acadia lawsuit

The plaintiff testified in court that she complained to the dealership about the Shift to Park messages, but dealer repair orders don't support that claim.

The plaintiff testified she took the Acadia to a dealer and described the problem, but the dealer failed to repair the SUV.

"Ms. Jefferson testified that she took her vehicle to the Dealership on or about March of 2019, when the Dealership informed her that her warranty had expired and that she would be required to pay $144 for an inspection. At that time, her vehicle had been driven at least 48,891 miles. She did not have the vehicle inspected or complain about the STP defect to the Dealership or any other dealership after March of 2019."

The plaintiff traded her GMC Acadia to the dealership for another vehicle in February of 2021.

The GMC Acadia Shift to Park lawsuit was filed in August 2020 and General Motors filed a motion to dismiss in October 2020. The judge granted the motion in part, tossing the request for punitive damages and dismissing the implied warranty of merchantability claim.

According to Judge Jon P. McCalla, the parties filed a motion to stay the case for 90 days or until the resolution of the summary judgment and class certification motions which were then outstanding in Napoli-Bosse v. General Motors. The motions in Napoli-Bosse were resolved on August 22, 2022.

The plaintiff then filed a motion to certify the Tennessee class action lawsuit on November 2, 2022.

Judge McCalla dismissed certain claims against GM, including claims regarding loss-of-use damages and injunctive relief. However, the judge refused to dismiss breach of contract and breach of express warranty claims. He also ruled the case can proceed under a "diminution of value theory of damages."

The motion for class action certification is granted as to initial purchasers and lessees of new 2017-2018 GMC Acadia SUVs who purchased or leased their vehicles in Tennessee.

The GMC Acadia Shift to Park class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee: Jefferson, et al., v. General Motors LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by the Lafferty Law Firm, Inc., and Lemberg Law.