Detroit, MI, United States (4E) – General Motors Co. announced Tuesday it is recalling 60,000 Saturn Aura midsize cars to fix their automatic transmission shift levers.
The recall covers four-speed automatic Auras made between April 24, 2006 and Oct. 31, 2007, including 56,200 vehicles in the U.S. and 3,400 in Canada. The company said the shift cable of the cars can break while the car is moving causing the gear shift to show the wrong gear.
When the driver parks the car, he won’t be able to shift into “Park” mode or remove the ignition key. This could make the vehicle roll away as the driver and other occupants exit the vehicle or anytime thereafter increasing the risk of injury.
The fix involves the replacement of the shift cable assembly and mounting bracket at no cost to owners. GM hasn’t determined yet when repair parts will be available.
The defect has led to 28 crashes and four injuries but no fatalities over the last seven years, according to GM spokesman Alan Adler.
Adler said the company has been aware of the problem since November 2011 and covered the cars with an extended 10-year, 120,000-mile warranty that kicks in when the owner experiences trouble with the shifters. GM thought the extended warranty was sufficient to handle the problem, said Adler.
The latest recall comes as GM deals with another delayed recall involving 2.6 million cars with a defective ignition switch that led to 13 crash deaths. The company knew the defect 10 years ago but only made the recall in February sparking a congressional investigation and at least 53 wrongful death lawsuits.