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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We live in the Milwaukee area and regularly drive our '17 Hybrid to Colorado, Georgia, New England, etc. We bought it to replace our dear, departed '11 Golf TDI as our "road trip" car. The MH has 36,640 miles on it right now. Last Monday, it had 35,670 miles on it, so I took it to our local dealer and negotiated a GM Platinum 0-deductable extended warranty before the car fell out of its original warranty, which it was about to do on a trip to Atlanta two days later. Got to Atlanta no problem (~800 miles), then drove around the area for a few days and left to return home on Sunday morning. After about 20 minutes, while driving on the highway, the drive cut out, alarms went off, and "shift to park" appeared in the display. After safely coasting to a stop off highway, tried everything to revive it, but no-go. Car turns on, cluster lights up normal (with the addition of a CEL), while the power flow display in the center of the dash is completely greyed-out. I called the Volt/MH roadside assistance number and they got us a flatbed in less than an hour. He took us to the nearest dealer (in Acworth, GA), where we were forced to dump/leave the car at the locked front gate. I called them first thing Monday morning to let them know who's car it was, and they got started on it. I stopped back in the late afternoon, and the tech was still scratching his head, saying that there was definitely more going on than just a shot 12V battery. So, we're stuck waiting at an understanding relative's house while they figure it out. I just found a couple of (related?) threads over on the Volt forum...one, a recent GM recall for power loss, the other requiring a trans-axle replacement! :surprise:

The car has been terrific until now. I sure hope they figure it out quickly, it was supposed to go out to the east coast in a few weeks.
 

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Re: "Shift To Park" - YIKES!

Quite a story! Glad to hear you weren't injured. I sure hope they figure it out and get it all working as it should, and quickly at that. When you get it back, you'll be in the unenviable position of testing out the repair to be sure it'll work properly for the long haul.
 

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Double yikes. Hope they figure it out quickly. It is true, I remember reading a bulletin that describes exactly what you experienced and it ends with replacement of the entire tranny. There was a related bulletin that helps inform/chew out techs as to how the transmission needs to be packaged for return as GM was receiving a "high number of damaged units" that will not allow for proper engineering evaluation. I used to see it and accidentally clicked on it a bunch of times when searching for the other more benign "shift to park" owners sometimes experience when shutting off the car.

The good news is it seems the hybrid-specific bulletin has been modified a few times to be more specific of the codes indicating possible failure of the entire 5ET50.

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2018/MC-10147359-9999.pdf
 

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Re: "Shift To Park" - YIKES!

I've been wondering about how many miles people are getting out of this transmission/drivetrain without issue. I'm hoping it's quite a lot. I know it's very complex and goes through a lot of modes in normal driving. Did you feel anything abnormal in its operation before the failure? On the other hand, I've been reading reviews on the Cadillac XT4 and have found quite a few people with total transmission replacements at less than 1000 miles, but that can happen in the first model year. If mine should fail, I hope it's near near a dealer who knows how to work on the hybrid.
 

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Re: "Shift To Park" - YIKES!

Wow! Not that there's ever a good time, but what timing. Literally right after the bumper to bumper warranty expired.
The good news is the transaxle should be covered under the electric drive train warranty even without any extra extended warranty. I think it's mandated at 120000 miles in my state.
This is the first failure of a a Voltec unit in a Malibu that I've heard of. Please keep us posted with the details.
Sucks that you're stuck with it in the meantime, but I hope they get you back on the road with a top notch repair soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Double yikes. Hope they figure it out quickly. It is true, I remember reading a bulletin that describes exactly what you experienced and it ends with replacement of the entire tranny. There was a related bulletin that helps inform/chew out techs as to how the transmission needs to be packaged for return as GM was receiving a "high number of damaged units" that will not allow for proper engineering evaluation. I used to see it and accidentally clicked on it a bunch of times when searching for the other more benign "shift to park" owners sometimes experience when shutting off the car.

The good news is it seems the hybrid-specific bulletin has been modified a few times to be more specific of the codes indicating possible failure of the entire 5ET50.

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2018/MC-10147359-9999.pdf
Dude! This bulletin could be HUGE in resolving my issue...thanks so much for posting it. I'll be e-mailing it to the service writer this morning.



Thanks for the good wishes, everyone. Yes, we were really fortunate to be coasting out of power on a typically-busy state highway, in the only single-lane section of that highway, on a very quiet (traffic-wise) Sunday morning...and doubly fortunate that we had just enough momentum to reach the only intersecting side road with just enough left to make it about 100 feet around the corner to stop at the curb like we were purposely pulling over to park there! Obviously, it's also fortunate that our new 0-deductable extended warranty was only 6 days old at the time, though as someone pointed out, the Hybrid power train warranty should take care of the problem anyway.

As of Thursday morning, the dealership contacted "GM engineering" (?) who told them that they had never heard of this happening before! These "GM" people then told the dealer to pull the HV battery to do some diagnostics, and the service writer said if they didn't find anything wrong that I would be financially responsible because "your car is out of warranty". I told him that if he would punch in my VIN, he'd see that the car IS covered under a GM Platinum 0-deductable warranty that I just purchased from my home dealer. He said "dealers are private businesses and we're not networked together, so I can't access your home dealer...AND GM doeasn't sell extended warranties"! I hung up and called my home dealership, and the lady who wrote my warranties (I got one on my Volt as well) agreed to call this guy and run him through finding my info...which she successfully did. Now I have to email camp292's bulletin to them before they destroy my entire car looking for the wrong problem(s). They are trying to solve all of the codes that were generated...one at a time!
 

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Hope it helps. The previous iteration was a lot more generic and just had a similar customer report to what you experienced and shift to park message unrelated to actually being in "park". This one has those specific codes so I would hope the tech already found it if you actually had some or all of those codes. Who knows... techs can be great but sometimes not very thorough. Your dealer did good by contacting gm engineering/TAC. Them not having heard of the shift to park issue doesn't surprise me as these people often feign ignorance. Your car may or may not have that issue (depending on existence of those codes) but they should have at least heard of it since there is a bulletin. The stuff about you being responsible for diagnostic costs is bunk even if you didn't have the warranty as you had a CEL which means you had a code(s). If I had a code and my dealer tried charging me for their incompetence ie failure to figure out what triggered the code... well that would lead to an ugly scene.

Anyway, rooting for you Dr. M. I know this doesn't seem great for the MH but I still think it is a great car - love the car, how it drives, looks, seems really reliable (this situation aside). Good job getting that extended warranty/service contract too.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update:

It just keeps getting better and better. Now they're blaming it on the CHMSL leaking water, which I know has been an issue on some Malibus of this vintage, but I have never seen any sign of water intrusion on this car and I personally checked to make sure the light was good and secure (it was). I think they picked this excuse knowing that I would be liable for the cost of a new light ($360+) because it's one of the exempted items in my new $2200 "bumper-to-bumper" warranty. At this point, I'd be willing to foot the bill if it would get the car out of their clutches. They're say another couple of days, but I'm on my way out the door right now to pick up a rental car so we can leave for home tomorrow morning. I'll have to come back for the MH...
 

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I share your skepticism/concern/whathaveyou of that diagnosis but can make a justification of it being at least possible. With the CHMSL problem, when it leaks, water runs down the headliner then the quarter panels and into the trunk right where your batteries hum along peacefully. But causing this very specific warning message, CEL, and loss of propulsion? Wonder what the codes were. FWIW, my service contract exempts upholstery, carpet, brake pads, airbags, weatherstripping, weather seals along with any water intrusion or damage resulting from water intrusion. Seems common unfortunately.

Thanks for all the updates and bummer about the travel complications.
 

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What is it with GM and water intrusion?? I had a 2000 Alero bought back by GM after a battle under my state's lemon laws. The main issue was leaks from the doors onto the carpets every time in rained, all 4 doors had the issue (and I go to find out there were a large number of TSBs about it). I had a late 80s Pontiac with a water leak that I traced to a body seam, I sealed it no more water leaks.

And there's a TSB for the Gen 9 Malibu for a similar body seam issue, improper caulk/sealant at the factory. Add in the stop lamp to that for water intrusion too, most galling thing is the 2017's were supposed to have this issue fixed at the factory. You'd think after 100 years of building cars GM's engineers would have figured out water intrusion prevention by now....
 

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Update:

It just keeps getting better and better. Now they're blaming it on the CHMSL leaking water,
I hope that is the problem and not the integrity of the transmission. I saw a MH battery assembly for sale on EBay. All of the screws were rusted on it. I assumed that it was from a junkyard wreck that was exposed to the elements. Maybe it was from the stop light leakage. But I'd think you'd noticed fogged up windows if that much moisture was back there.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I hope that is the problem and not the integrity of the transmission. I saw a MH battery assembly for sale on EBay. All of the screws were rusted on it. I assumed that it was from a junkyard wreck that was exposed to the elements. Maybe it was from the stop light leakage. But I'd think you'd noticed fogged up windows if that much moisture was back there.
No window fogging as of yet. It occurs to me that, if they truly expect me to foot the bill for a new light and installation, then what they're implying is that any water intrusion/damage must have happened only in the 500-600 miles since my b-t-b warranty ran out...which we all know is total BS. If this does come down to a leaking CHMSL, it will have had to have been leaking far longer than 1 day, which is how long it took us to put the last 800 miles on the car that took it out of its original warranty. BTW, it wasn't even raining that day!

I wasn't quite clear about their ostensible diagnosis. What they said was that the CHMSL leaked water into/ruined a control module that then caused the car to shut down. I was told this on Thursday (the 4th) morning...and that it would be 'a couple of days' before I could have my car back. Now, we drove a rental car back to Wisconsin the following day because we had to get home. I was fairly confident that we weren't going to receive a 'come get it' call until late the following week at the earliest, because I still think the problem is going to end up being the transaxle and that will entail a good deal more time. I'd be thrilled to be wrong, but our sequence of failure just rings too similar to those over on the Volt forum where the transaxle was at fault.
 

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I just had the exact same thing happen to me twice in two weeks (thankfully not on a major road trip). Cut out in the middle of the highway at highway speeds both times (this car is gonna get me killed). My car is a 2016 Chevy Malibu hybrid. Towed to the dealership both times. The first time the dealer said that the starter battery was "loose", which they "fixed". It worked for just over 1 week and then did the exact same thing again. It has been fixed again - this time they said it was the shifter which has been replaced. Just got it back today, will be interested to see if this fixes the problem - Losing all power in the middle of the highway is getting old really quickly. Best of luck!
 

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It has been fixed again - this time they said it was the shifter which has been replaced.
I thought the shifter issue was when you try to turn off the car after shifting to park you get the shift to park message because the shift mechanism wasn't going all the way into park. Maybe there are other failure modes of the shifter that I'm not aware of. I hope you have no more problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I thought the shifter issue was when you try to turn off the car after shifting to park you get the shift to park message because the shift mechanism wasn't going all the way into park. Maybe there are other failure modes of the shifter that I'm not aware of. I hope you have no more problems.
My sense of the "shift to park" issue is that, on a conventional Malibu, it actually does pertain to a shifter issue. On a Hybrid...GOK. Maybe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

It's Wednesday morning, and I just got off the phone with the Georgia dealer who has my car. The service writer said they have the car up and running, but they want to "do some testing on it to make sure the repair stuck". He said they replaced "a shorted-out circuit board" and an HV cable between the HV battery and regions forward. I seriously doubt that the car contains a "circuit board", but the replaced cable would at least explain the burning-insulation smell that we picked up during the event. If the repair pans out, I'm not going to feel very confident on the long drive home...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Double yikes. Hope they figure it out quickly. It is true, I remember reading a bulletin that describes exactly what you experienced and it ends with replacement of the entire tranny. There was a related bulletin that helps inform/chew out techs as to how the transmission needs to be packaged for return as GM was receiving a "high number of damaged units" that will not allow for proper engineering evaluation. I used to see it and accidentally clicked on it a bunch of times when searching for the other more benign "shift to park" owners sometimes experience when shutting off the car.

The good news is it seems the hybrid-specific bulletin has been modified a few times to be more specific of the codes indicating possible failure of the entire 5ET50.

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2018/MC-10147359-9999.pdf
So, I just re-read this sheet and finally noticed that, in addition to the Volt and Malibu Hybrid, there is also listed a Buick LaCrosse with this same tranaxle! Has a LaCrosse Hybrid ever existed? If so, I was completely unaware of it...though, it's a step that GM could relatively easily have taken given the relationship between the LaCrosse and the Malibu. I just checked the Buick web page and there's no mention of it there...
 

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So, I just re-read this sheet and finally noticed that, in addition to the Volt and Malibu Hybrid, there is also listed a Buick LaCrosse with this same tranaxle! Has a LaCrosse Hybrid ever existed? If so, I was completely unaware of it...though, it's a step that GM could relatively easily have taken given the relationship between the LaCrosse and the Malibu. I just checked the Buick web page and there's no mention of it there...
It's produced in China for their local market.
 

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My sense of the "shift to park" issue is that, on a conventional Malibu, it actually does pertain to a shifter issue. On a Hybrid...GOK. Maybe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time.

It's Wednesday morning, and I just got off the phone with the Georgia dealer who has my car. The service writer said they have the car up and running, but they want to "do some testing on it to make sure the repair stuck". He said they replaced "a shorted-out circuit board" and an HV cable between the HV battery and regions forward. I seriously doubt that the car contains a "circuit board", but the replaced cable would at least explain the burning-insulation smell that we picked up during the event. If the repair pans out, I'm not going to feel very confident on the long drive home...
There are indeed circuit boards/modules on top of the battery pack, including the Accessory Power Module: https://www.greencarcongress.com/2016/04/20160418-malibu.html . The APM transforms the battery's high voltage down to the 12V needed to power the other car electronics when driving.

Water and electronics don't mix. If water got into those modules, then it would have caused a major failure of the power system. If the car's working now, I think you can have high confidence that they've fixed the problem.
 

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I seriously doubt that the car contains a "circuit board", but the replaced cable would at least explain the burning-insulation smell that we picked up during the event.
Are they still sticking with the water leakage as the cause of the failure? Did they replace the brake light assembly? I'm guessing if water got into the battery assembly, the relay circuit board (which I think is inside the battery housing) or other wiring could have built up contact resistance/heat from corrosion. At least the transmission isn't bad. Did they say what the repair bill is up to?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The guy I talked to this morning was the same fellow that originally checked my car in. When he told me today that my car was ready to go, his only comment on cost was that the Hybrid drive train warranty was going to cover it, so my extended warranty wouldn't even enter into it. It was a different person (a woman) who told me the other day that I was going to be responsible for the CHMSL replacement...so I won't know until I pick up the car on Saturday morning (the 13th) whether they're going to whack me for the CHMSL or not. I do have to state again that there was no sign whatsoever of any water intrusion anywhere in the trunk...though, the only panel I looked under was the spare tire cover. Wasn't the CHMSL supposed to be physically loose in these instances? Mine was/is tight as a drum.
 
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