General Motors has issued a recall for select models of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. A bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that some of those vehicles may suffer from a software glitch that could lead to an accident.
The problem is rooted in the Malibu's transmission gear selection control module, which is manufactured by AGM Automotive, Inc. Fluctuations in electric voltage may interfere with that component's ability to display the car's gear, which could result in drivers putting the vehicle into the wrong gear.'
GM notes, however, that the problem resolves itself if the vehicle is turned off and restarted. Also, GM says that the Malibu's gear is always properly displayed on the instrument panel cluster.
The recall is limited to Malibu vehicles built between April 10, 2012 and August 2, 2012. It's also restricted to cars that contain the base-level instrument-panel cluster, which constitute about 15 percent of the Malibu population in the U.S., or 3,690 vehicles (The problem has popped up in other Malibu models, however GM has made the case that it is "inconsequential to motor vehicle safety" except in vehicles with the base-level cluster.)
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GM began mailing recall notices to owners on April 20, 2015, so if your car is affected, you've likely received one by now. If not, when you get it, you'll be able to take your car to a Chevrolet dealer, who will replace the transmission gear selection control module at no charge.
If you have questions, you're encourage to call Chevrolet customer service at 800-222-1020 and ask about recall #12162. You can also contact NHTSA at 888-327-4236 and ask about safety campaign #15V245000.