Car drivers need to know that when they place a car’s transmission in park, it will stay in one place. However, a new recall from General Motors warns that as many as 420,000 of its recent vehicles may suffer from a product defect that can cause parked cars to start rolling away.
The defect could easily result in injuries from runaway cars. Occupants could find themselves rolling unexpectedly into traffic. Other vehicles might hurt people in driveways or other parking areas. While General Motors says that it is unaware of any injuries, reports of at least four accidents apparently prompted the recall.
The company is now recalling more than 420,000 cars. Affected models include the Chevy Malibu, Pontiac G6, and Saturn Aura. The defect involves four-speed automatic transmissions in cars made between 2007 and 2010. General Motors plans to repair the problem in all 420,000 vehicles.
It is not clear what caused this defect but it may involve a problematic component manufactured by another company. Under products liability law, a manufacturer is often liable for all of the components that go into its finished product-even if the defect existed before the manufacturer received it.
Although General Motors has now warned consumers about the existence of this defect, it will probably remain liable for any injuries that occur as a result of runaway rolling cars.
Source: Fox 31, “GM recalls over 426,000 cars in U.S. for gear issue,” Will C. Holden, Sept. 21, 2012