INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - In March, an Indianapolis man died trying to save his 3-year-old daughter when the car he was driving rolled into a retention pond. I-Team 8 learned that an issue included as part of a recall on the car and other vehicles may have caused it to roll.
Investigators say Anthony Burgess Jr. got out of the 2008 Pontiac G6 to talk with a friend. His daughter was still inside the car when it rolled into a retention pond at a northeast side apartment complex. He jumped in and helped to save her life, but he did not survive. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a recall from General Motors that included the Pontiac G6. It stated there was a chance that car could roll away, even if the light indicated the vehicle was in the park position.
The recall (see in full below) came out on April 30, 2014, and included more than a million cars with this potential problem. The recall states the transmission gear selection may not match the actual gear the car is in, and the car could move in an unintended direction. The car's light might indicate it is in park, but it might not actually be in park.
POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION
General Motors LLC (GM) notified the agency on April 29, 2014, that they are recalling 56,214 model year 2007 and 2008 Saturn Aura vehicles. On May 22, 2014, GM increased the recall to include an additional 1,074,899 model year 2004-2008 Chevrolet Malibu vehicles manufactured from May 16, 2003, through October 5, 2007, model year 2004-2007 Malibu Maxx vehicles manufactured from June 25, 2003, through April 5, 2007, and model year 2005-2008 Pontiac G6 vehicles manufactured from May 26, 2004, through September 28, 2007, and equipped with 4-speed transmissions. The total number vehicles being recalled is now 1,131,113.
If the transmission shift cable fractures while the vehicle is being driven, the transmission gear selection may not match the indicated gear and the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash. Furthermore, when the driver goes to stop and park the vehicle, despite selecting the PARK position, the transmission may not be in PARK. If the vehicle is not in the "PARK" position there is a risk the vehicle will roll away as the driver and other occupants exit the vehicle or anytime thereafter. A vehicle rollaway increases the risk of injury to exiting occupants and bystanders.
What Owners Should Do
GM will notify owners, and GM dealers will replace the shift cable assembly and mounting bracket, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact General Motors at 1-800-553-6000. GM's number for this recall is 14152. (via cars.com)
The Center for Auto Safety, a nonprofit based in Washington, says in each of the last three years, more than 50 million vehicles were subject to a recall. But if you're not the original owner, you might not even know it. The manufacturer has to notify the car's original owner, but does not have to track down subsequent owners after the car is resold.
The Center for Auto Safety recommends going to safercar.gov to look up any recalls. If there are any recalls associated with your vehicle, the dealer will pay to fix them for you.