General Motors investigated for Saturn shifting woes

James Raia

Seven crashes involving automatic shift levers on used Saturn Aura model have prompted federal safety regulators to investigate General Motors cars with the inquirty possibly also including the Chevrolet Malibu and Pontiac G6.

The investigation began with complaints in the Saturn Aura (2007-2008) affecting about 89,000 vehicles. The Chevrolet Malibu (2004-2008) and Pontiac G6 (2005-2008) have similar shifting systems.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the protective jacket around cables connecting the floor shift lever to the transmission can deteriorate, exposing the cables to the elements.

Cables can corrode and weaken, and the shift lever position may not match the car's gear. That means a driver could put the car in park but the transmission could be in drive or reverse. In some cases, the car may not shift at all.

In the seven accidents report, there was one injury report.

Company spokesman Alan Adler said GM is cooperating in the investigation. Although the investigation is ongoing, a recall may or may not occur.


Article Last Updated: November 14, 2011.

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