NHTSA investigates issue with GM shifter cables

November 15, 2011 12:00 AM

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating complaints made against certain General Motors vehicles that have led to seven accidents thus far, reports The Associated Press.

The investigation centers around the shifter cables used in the 2007-2008 Saturn Aura. Over time, GM found that the protective jacket on these cables can deteriorate, which exposes the critical cables to the elements. As these cables become weakened, a problem can arise in which the gear that the car is in does not correspond to the shifter.

For example, one driver reported an incident where he put the car into park, but it actually went into reverse. He got out of the car and was struck by the vehicle when he walked behind it, although he did not suffer serious injuries. Other incidents involve a vehicle that was thought to be parked rolling forward into a wall or other object.

The incident may go beyond that Aura, of which there are only 89,000 on the road. GM is extending the warranty on the Aura and replacing the shifter cables for free. However, the NHTSA says that similar cables were used on the 2004-2008 Chevy Malibu and 2005-2008 Pontiac G6. If the government agency finds that these cars have the same problem, it would add nearly 1.4 million more vehicles to the recall, although not all of those cars are equipped with an automatic transmission.

When it comes to vehicle problems, regular auto maintenance can help catch issues like this before they become major issues and lead to more expensive car repairs.

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