Rotary Shift Knobs Spark Another Rollaway Investigation

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
rotary shift knobs spark another rollaway investigation

First, it was Fiat Chrysler Automobiles products with a tendency to roll away, even after owners placed them in park. Then, Ford decided to make sure vehicles with rotary shift knobs didn’t do the same thing, offering a “Return to Park” feature on the 2017 Fusion.

Two weeks ago, it was FCA’s turn again. The automaker found itself the focus of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation after more reported rollaways, this time with rotary-shift Rams and Dodges.

Well, NHTSA now has Jaguar Land Rover in its crosshairs. Care to guess why?

According to Bloomberg, NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation on December 16 after reports of rollaways with certain JLR models. The tentative probe covers the 2012-2014 Range Rover Evoque and 2013 Jaguar XF — a potential total of 39,000 vehicles.

Seven complaints landed on the agency’s doorstep, with owners claiming the vehicles rolled away after being placed in park. The parking brake had not been set on any of the vehicles. In one of the incidents, an owner was pinned against a garage wall. Four other people were injured by the opened door of a rolling vehicle.

Both models, like the Fusion and FCA vehicles, come equipped with a rotary dial gearshift. While preliminary evaluations are only meant to determine of a problem exists, if NHTSA does find a defect, a recall could be in order.

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  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Jan 04, 2017

    Moving from a manual to automatic gearboxed cars, it is force of habit to pull the handbrake (E-brake / parking brake / whatever you want to call it) when parking up. (Manual / stick would usually be left in neutral - at least before starting again, the handbrake prevents movement).

  • Carl0s Carl0s on Jan 04, 2017

    I don't know if JLR changed it on the 8spd xf (mines a 2014 which is when they gave the 8spd to the v8 cars, but I think the standard cars got the 8spd a year or two earlier), but I'm sure mine puts itself in park, and it might even automatically apply the parking brake. What I do not like though is that you can slam it into P by accident when clicking between D and R, especially if you sometimes use S, so the amount of rotating needed isn't always the same. There should be programming to prevent entry into P while moving. I've been inside a 6hp26 and a 5hp19 and that parking pin is only a little thing pushing into the output shaft drum or something and I worry it could shear off.

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  • Jeff S I did not know Plymouth had a full size van prior to the mini vans. I did know about the Plymouth pickups and the Trail Duster.
  • Arthur Dailey When I grew tired of the T-Bird trying to kill me by refusing to start at the most inconvenient times/places, I replaced it with a '79 fullsized Dodge (Sportsman) van. Similar to this but with a different grille and rectangular headlights. The 4 'captains' chairs in my van were pretty much identical to the ones in this van. Mine certainly was not as nicely finished inside. And it was a handful to drive in snow/ice. One thing that strikes me about this van is that although a conversion it does not seem to have the requisite dark tint on the windows.
  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.
  • AMcA The '70 Continentals and Town Cars may have been cousins to the standard body Fords and Mercurys, they didn't have to be disguised, because they had unique, unbelievably huge bodies of their own. Looking at the new 1970 interior, I'd say it was also a cost savings in sewing the seat. Button tufted panels like the 1969 interior had require a lot of sewing and tufting work. The 1970 interior is mostly surface sewing on a single sheet of upholstery instead of laboriously assembled smaller pieces. FINALLY: do I remember correctly that the shag carpet shown under these cars was a Photoshop? They didn't really go so peak '70s as to photograph cars on shag carpets, did they?