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This is a very long discussion spanning many years. This post has been edited to summarize and provide current information as of February 2021.

The problem:
When shifting to Park and turning off the engine a message may appear on the DIC that says "Shift to Park". While the engine turns off, certain electronics remain on if the "Shift to Park" message is displayed. This can lead to battery drain or failure and affects all trims and model years 2016-2019. There seem to be several possible causes including a small switch inside the shifter that is either defective, wears out, develops corrosion on contact points, or the shift mechanism and/or trigger button sticks. Either way, there is a switch inside the shifter than must be triggered to verify the car is in park. The car is in park, but the safety verification switch is not confirming it.

Temporary workarounds or possible no cost/low cost DIY:
Wiggling, clicking the trigger button, slamming the shifter forward, or a combination can make the message temporarily disappear. Toward the middle-end of this discussion (pg 10) there are some repair tips/procedures for disassembling and manipulating a switch but it has only worked a few days/weeks for some. There is a DIY switch replacement on page 17 that has more promise. The most recent bulletin (see below) also has full steps with pictures and part numbers describing switch and jumper harness replacement.

Official/professional repair:
Previously, the permanent fix for this was replacing the entire shifter per bulletin #18-NA-297 (discontinued) and bulletin #19-NA-206 following installation of a new harness. There are a few reports of recurrence when replacing the shifter so repeat failure seems rare but possible. A new updated bulletin #19-NA-206 has been released with a modified fix procedure that is a mix of a clumsy 6 page repair to replace the faulty switch and add a harness or shifter replacement. If you encounter this issue under bumper to bumper warranty it should be repaired by a dealer free of charge. If outside warranty, prices have ranged from $150 to $700. I haven't seen prices since the most recent fix procedure was released. If your dealer cannot reproduce the problem or locate the bulletin, provide bulletin #19-NA-206.

That latest revision of bulletin #19-NA-206 can be read here: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2021/MC-10198852-9999.pdf
 

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@Vanessa :

Get that thing to the dealer. I do not know of a recall for this issue nor a service update. There are however several service bulletins but they are all related to the Hybrid. Perhaps they have been extended to the LS/LT/Premier.

As for warranty, it is likely bumper to bumper 3-year/36k and not powertrain 60k unless the problem is internal to the engine or transmission. GM is pretty restrictive about sensors/wiring/connectors under powertrain that it is likely related to. If the bumper to bumper lapses of course demand it is covered via powertain since the transmission is not operating correctly.

http://www.chevrolet.com/owners/warranty

Good luck and please let us know the outcome.
 

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My '16 decided to do this "shift to park" thing today. Same as others, shifted to park, turned off, "shift to park" message on DIC, beeps, lights on, radio on after getting out. Since I had read of this before I tried lots of things - wiggling and pushing the shifter harder as @thonati suggested, nothing. Turned car back on, shifted through gears, back to park, same thing. Repeated another time and worked normally.

The interesting part which I don't think I have noticed on other accounts is the P light is on next to the shifter. The shifter knows it is in P. The car doesn't know it is in P and acts accordingly.

Good news is I know my dealer has already replaced the shifter assembly for this issue as my brother-in-law's Premier had to be replaced about 4 months ago.

I took a video for my dealer:
 

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Update to my "shift to park": it didn't do it at the dealer but there is a bulletin for it. They replace the shifter assembly. My dealer said the assembly is on backorder (always a good sign). They are checking other dealers for part stock and I hear back Monday hopefully. Until then I roll the town in a Trax.

@Vanessa If you have problems with your dealer I will try and get the TSB number to help. I believe others have had the shifter replaced also so they might already have the bulletin number if there was a bulletin at the time. Maybe your dealer will even have the shifter in stock!
 
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Update to my "shift to park": it didn't do it at the dealer but there is a bulletin for it. They replace the shifter assembly. My dealer said the assembly is on backorder (always a good sign). They are checking other dealers for part stock and I hear back Monday hopefully. Until then I roll the town in a Trax.

@Vanessa If you have problems with your dealer I will try and get the TSB number to help. I believe others have had the shifter replaced also so they might already have the bulletin number if there was a bulletin at the time. Maybe your dealer will even have the shifter in stock!
Picked up my car this morning, all is well. I do not see an obvious bulletin number on my paperwork - only number that google results match relates to the same issue in a 2015 Cadillac ATS which is 8460670. It has likely been updated to include our model or maybe they just use that bulletin as a reference. Here is the text if it helps you:

THE MESSAGE SHIFT TO PARK WILL DISPLAY IN THE DIC
AFTER ATTEMPTING TO SHUT OFF VEHICLE.
Installed 84308196 :SL-N-CONTROL MODULE ASSEMBLY (04004-C) 84308 QTY: 1
WAR 8460670 INTERMITTENT CONCERN READS SHIFT TO PARK
WHEN IN PARK. DIAGNOSED FAULTY TRANS CONTROL/FLOOR
SHIFT. REMOVED CONSOLE TO ACCESS REPLACED TRANS
CONTROL REASSEMBLED AND INSTALLED CONSOLE. PERFORMED
RELEARN PER BULLETIN.

I also had my snow tires put on... with my luck it won't snow for weeks. :wink:
 
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Welcome @deblaf. I would start by reading through the thread you have posted in. You will find a readout of my service record as well as reports from other users citing the same procedure. Technically they must reproduce it but my dealer didn't. I recommend taking a video of the occurrence like mine above to show your dealer.
 
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^------ what miweber292 said. And yes, the shifter assembly seems to fix it. Mine has been replaced and has been 100% since.
 

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There is a new bulletin on this shift to park thing. As of Dec 5 2017 they actually didn't know the root cause for those affected. They are gathering information from certain cars exhibiting the problem to figure it out. It looks like everyone that got repaired prior had a standard diagnosis and repair via the generic flow chart. Perhaps they are looking for a cheaper fix than replacing the shifter assembly for all these failures. That or the shifter replacement just resets the cycle and it fails again since the problem isn't actually fixed in the new shifter.

Anyway, thar she is, 2016-2018 Malibu all trims: https://www.dropbox.com/s/z8034sljymfep3a/shifttoparkbulletin.pdf?dl=0
 

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I understand the frustration and it is warranted. I believe you are the first to be faced with this repair outside warranty. It isn't a recall at this point since it isn't safety related (supposedly). Plus there is a lot of money to be made by the dealers.
 

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Wow! This is new. So the replacement part don't fix the issue. Hey Chevrolet, you should do something about this since the issue is getting hot. The shifter should be like the Buick one, with an easy manual mode without buttons. But it seems that even for next year's model the Malibu is going to keep the same useless gear selector.
Seems to confirm the negative indications in the bulletin released last December. I posted on this a while back. If Chevy was confident replacing the shifter was a certain fix there would be no prelim investigation just staring last December.

Post 47:
There is a new bulletin on this shift to park thing. As of Dec 5 2017 they actually didn't know the root cause for those affected. They are gathering information from certain cars exhibiting the problem to figure it out. It looks like everyone that got repaired prior had a standard diagnosis and repair via the generic flow chart. Perhaps they are looking for a cheaper fix than replacing the shifter assembly for all these failures. That or the shifter replacement just resets the cycle and it fails again since the problem isn't actually fixed in the new shifter.

Anyway, thar she is, 2016-2018 Malibu all trims: http://webpages.charter.net/campb292/shifttoparkbulletin.pdf
As for how the shifter should be, I don't know if it is design/lazy engineering or cheap manufacturing or a bad batch that lasted years. Similar issues affect the LaCrosse and Regal (16-NA-183, PIC6244) as well as other Chevy's like the Volt (PIC6244 and 16-NA-400). I believe @Oki said a dealer suggested it might become a recall; hopefully that turns out accurate so people are saved from a $700 repair that may or may not work.
 

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Hi MyBu2013 - bummer about the cost. I am surprised to read the shift to park thing also occurs on a 2013 gen8 car. I don't recall seeing posts about it in the gen8 section (this is a thread relating to gen9 cars). Sure smells more like a design issue than batch defect spanning so many years. Who would have guessed a shifter is that hard for GM to make properly?
 

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Everyone keeps saying that there are bulletins that apply to this issue but I haven't seen bulletin numbers or copies of the bulletins posted in either thread. The only thing I have seen posted is a Cadillac bulletin. Can someone please state the bulletin number that specifically covers a Malibu?

Thanks!
Already posted in this thread back in April but it looks like Charter discontinued their webspace ftp services earlier this month so it is no longer viewable. There have been several superceded over time and Bulletin PIE0441 is the bulletin of interest now.

Here are links that hopefully work:

http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/TSb/DownloadPdf?id=194706

http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/TSb/DownloadPdf?id=202896

Also, if you encounter this shift to park on the road you can briefly recover by wiggling, shifting to other gears then back, pushing the button a couple times, or touching the shifter ever so softly while offering it words of encouragement, for example: "You can do it shifter, you're a big boy."

edit - updated the hyperlink in the April post. Methinks there will be a lot of those broken links around here with Charter/Spectrum tossing their cloud storage in the bin (while still raising my price a little each month).
 
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Thanks much!!! I'll head back to the dealership today with this info. Car is less than 2 years old, but 38k, so we'll see what they can do for me. The issue had been happening once every few days, but now it's up to 75% of the time that I try to turn it off. Getting a little frustrated!!!
Deservedly frustrated. It is a stupid issue I have never experienced on any other brand. I hope at 38k they cover it for you hassle free. I assume you already went to the dealer for it and they couldn't help - if they hassle remind them you did visit under warranty and they didn't fix it. Don't let them give you any smart butz stuff! If you have no luck or get a bill let me know and I'll think of some manipulative ideas to get justice!
 

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I understand the frustration @rblumenberg. It is certainly warranted. I did however gently edit the coarse language out of your post.

It is common that dealers schedule next day up to a week out especially for non-critical issues. I hope they are able to get your shifter replaced quickly - perhaps if they cannot request a loaner.
 

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For a recall to occur it usually needs to be safety related. I believe there are a couple owners in one of these threads that insisted the car could roll; that is likely the only way it could venture to recall. I don't really know how GM could know the car is indeed in park and guarantee it even though the car doesn't know it is in P. To believe GM you have to agree the shifter knows it is in Park but the car doesn't know what the shifter knows but it knows enough to do some things. Yikes.

The unfortunate reality is that as of December 2017 (and likely at least through June 2018 as no new TSBs exist) they only could correct it by replacing the shifter as the cause was unknown. The problem is the cause might be shifter design or a software bug they can't figure out. So everyone just got the shifter replaced and it too could fail as several on here have already reported.

Here is the most recent bulletin where they are trying to root cause the thing: http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/TSb/DownloadPdf?id=202896
 

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To my knowledge GM hasn't said anything about it being or not being a safety issue. Just the facts are it isn't a recall so it hasn't been determined to be a safety issue. Perhaps one day it will be. My argument in post 93 is that I don't see how GM could have determined it wasn't a safety issue since something in the car doesn't recognize it is in P.

As for your scratchy, worn, dirty looking replacement shifter, GM has the right to use "used" parts. Page 4 of the limited warranty manual reads: "Needed repairs will be performed using new, remanufactured, or refurbished parts." Now, the part they use must also be the right part or provide similar function. If this new part is sitting higher perhaps they used an alternate/different part. Perhaps you even got a new part that won't fail 30k later. Though being scratchy and dirty it would seem it is previously used.
 

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And there is a 2nd "shift to park" thread with almost 40,000 views farther down in this problems section. It's a common problem for sure.
 

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While there are many reports of this problem here and many thread views, I believe only one owner has reported recurrence. That is a good sign. The replacement shifter I got is much tighter/firmer than my original and has remained that way for 30,000 miles. It may be a design correction or perhaps the original batches were just defective.
 
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