General Motors is recalling 473,841 Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn mid-size cars worldwide, to fix a transmission problem that could cause the cars to roll away when the drivers think they are in “park,” the #1 automaker in the U.S. said on Friday.
The company said that the recall affected Chevy Malibu, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura cars from model years 2007 through 2010, equipped with 4-speed automatic transmissions. GM will repair the condition in which the transmission gear position may not match the gear on the shifter. GM says part of the transmission cables can break. That can cause the shifter to show that the car is in “park” when it really is in gear.
The recall affects 426,240 cars in the U.S., 40,029 in Canada and Mexico, as well as approximately 7,572 in exports.
GM spokesman Alan Adler said that as part of the recall, dealers would put retainer covers over both ends of the cables to fix both problems. In some cases, the whole cable will have to be replaced.
Owners will be notified by letter to schedule the free repairs at dealers, those who have already had the work done will be eligible for reimbursement.
The government began investigating the cars last year after receiving reports of seven crashes and one injury.
In March 2009, GM recalled approximately 277,000 vehicles for a similar shift lever problem. At that time, the recall involved 2009 model year versions of Buick Enclave; Chevrolet Cobalt, HHR, Malibu and Traverse; GMC Acadia; Pontiac G5 and G6 and the Saturn Aura and Outlook. There were only 75,000 vehicles sold, and the rest were still at dealerships.
GM discovered the problem when they were gathering data for a U.S. government investigation of a similar problem with transmission cables on the same cars.
In addition, the company said it was recalling 6,475 Chevy Sonic subcompact cars globally because they might not alert the driver to a faulty turn-signal bulb.
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