GMC 'Shift to Park' Lawsuit Dismissed

GMC Acadia owner claims a Shift to Park message appeared even though the gear shifter was in PARK.

GMC 'Shift to Park' Lawsuit Dismissed

Posted in News

— A GMC "Shift to Park" lawsuit is over after the plaintiff appealed the dismissal of the GMC Acadia class action lawsuit and the appeals court agreed with the lower court dismissal.

Plaintiff Marlaina A. Napoli-Bosse leased a new 2017 GMC Acadia, but in July 2018 a Shift to Park message appeared as she tried to shut off the SUV.

The plaintiff says she could not shut off the Acadia even though the gear shift lever was already in PARK.

The plaintiff also could not lock her Acadia.

According to the GMC Shift to Park lawsuit, Acadia drivers complain they cannot shut down and lock the vehicles, and a running vehicle will drain the battery. The lawsuit also alleges GMC dealers are aware of the Shift to Park problem but have no idea how to repair the SUVs.

The GMC class action lawsuit, filed in 2018, alleges all 2017-2018 GMC Acadia drivers are at risk of seeing Shift to Park messages while the gear shift levers are clearly in PARK.

The plaintiff took her Acadia to a dealership and technicians allegedly confirmed the problem. But the plaintiff was allegedly told no fix was available but GM was working on it.

Napoli-Bosse initially stopped driving her GMC Acadia but finally resumed driving it only to continue to be faced with the Shift to Park problem.

The plaintiff says she must continuously wiggle the shifter and repeatedly shift to other gear positions and back to PARK just to get the Acadia to recognize it is in PARK.

GMC Acadia Shift to Park Lawsuit Dismissed

The Connecticut federal judge hearing the case dismissed the GMC Shift to Park lawsuit in August 2022, leading the plaintiff to file an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The principle argument of the class action regards breach of warranty and breach of contract claims which allege GM failed to repair the Acadia under the GMC warranty.

The district court held that Napoli-Bosse failed to state a claim for breach of express warranty because the warranty’s “repair” provision does not fall within the scope of Connecticut’s law concerning express warranties.

The district court judge dismissed the GMC Shift to Park lawsuit by ruling the plaintiff lacked "contractual privity" with General Motors.

The appeals court agreed with the district court by finding Connecticut law requires privity to establish a breach of warranty claim. The appeals court agreed the contract was between the dealership and the Acadia customer, not between General Motors and the customer.

"Here, Plaintiff could have pursued litigation against GM’s authorized dealer regarding the nonconforming operation of the vehicle." — Second Circuit

The plaintiff also challenges the district court’s dismissal of her breach of contract claim by asserting the terms of her lease agreement with the GM dealership created contractual privity for her with General Motors because the lease said her Acadia was “subject to the manufacturer’s standard warranty.”

"We disagree. As evidenced by the record, General Motors was not a party to the lease agreement. Plaintiff’s mere possession of GM’s warranty booklet did not create a contractual relationship between Plaintiff and GM." — Appeals court

As for any remaining arguments from the plaintiff, the appeals court found those arguments to be, "without merit."

The GMC Shift to Park lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut: Napoli-Bosse v. General Motors LLC.

The plaintiff is represented by Lemberg Law.