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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just a day after I chirpily posted how I have had almost no problems with my Inscription that has over 3000 miles on it, on Sunday evening over on the "is anyone 100% satisfied" thread...

Monday morning, backed out of the driveway, shifted into Drive and realized I had forgotten something. Went to put the car in Park and ... the lever wouldn't move that far. Hmmmm. Wouldn't go into reverse either. It would shift between Drive and Neutral, and over into the manual gears, but never up into Reverse or Park. Mechanically, the lever wouldn't move up there.

I tried turning the car off from neutral (which you can do, by holding the start/stop switch in "stop" position for a few seconds, as your car will tell you when you try to do it) and turning it back on. No change. At this point, I see a car message from the car, that says "Gear Shift - Service Required" -- but really no more additional info than that.

I figured maybe driving it a few feet might change something, or let me put it in reverse... not really thinking, started to pull into my neighbor's driveway. But Reverse didn't work, and still no Park. Tried turning it on and off again, a couple of more times. But now I was stuck, because I couldn't pull any further forward into someone else's driveway, and was unable to back up. The Gear Shift Service Required car message had gone away, but re-appeared.

At this point, I decide it might not just be some kind of user error, so I tried calling the dealer service department -- they had no instantaneous thought about what to do. They suggested calling Volvo Oncall, and offered to stay on the phone with me while I pushed the button to activate the OnCall.

From there on out, things went pretty smoothly. The car had transmitted the address where I was located to them, they dispatched a tow truck. I got voice mail and text notifications to my phone when the tow was dispatched. The tow truck arrived in less than an hour, and towed me to the dealer, who I had called back to tell them it was coming in. They had a loaner XC60 available and sent me on my way pretty quickly.

They ended up having to keep the car overnight because they didn't have time to look at it until late in the day yesterday. They called me mid-day today to tell me it was fixed, and they had also updated the software with the November update and CarPlay.

The explanation wasn't super-informative -- I actually secretly recorded it with the Voice Memo app on my phone. Basically the service coordinator said they had two software updates to apply PLUS the "full car update that included CarPlay" and that fixed the issue. So it was a software-related issue, somehow, that had interfered with the car's ability to shift.

Picked it up today, and everything seems fine so far. The new software isn't immediately obviously different, but it did manage to retain the bluetooth connection to my phone. The service experience and whatever my dealer had to do to get help or input on the fix seems to have happened quickly.

Anyway... all's well that ends well? My car had to be towed, but I got it back in less than 30 hours. I didn't remember what people said about how to totally power down the car by unhooking one of the battery terminals, so maybe that would have worked.

This might be a reason to get the software update sooner rather than later...
 

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A software issue? It really sounds like a mechanical failure of the gearshift if you could not move the lever into reverse.
 

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A software issue? It really sounds like a mechanical failure of the gearshift if you could not move the lever into reverse.
Ditto. To me it sounds like a mechanical one too. But who knows with these new cars with all the computers controlling everything.
 

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Just a day after I chirpily posted how I have had almost no problems with my Inscription that has over 3000 miles on it, on Sunday evening over on the "is anyone 100% satisfied" thread...

Monday morning, backed out of the driveway, shifted into Drive and realized I had forgotten something. Went to put the car in Park and ... the lever wouldn't move that far. Hmmmm. Wouldn't go into reverse either. It would shift between Drive and Neutral, and over into the manual gears, but never up into Reverse or Park. Mechanically, the lever wouldn't move up there.

I tried turning the car off from neutral (which you can do, by holding the start/stop switch in "stop" position for a few seconds, as your car will tell you when you try to do it) and turning it back on. No change. At this point, I see a car message from the car, that says "Gear Shift - Service Required" -- but really no more additional info than that.

I figured maybe driving it a few feet might change something, or let me put it in reverse... not really thinking, started to pull into my neighbor's driveway. But Reverse didn't work, and still no Park. Tried turning it on and off again, a couple of more times. But now I was stuck, because I couldn't pull any further forward into someone else's driveway, and was unable to back up. The Gear Shift Service Required car message had gone away, but re-appeared.

At this point, I decide it might not just be some kind of user error, so I tried calling the dealer service department -- they had no instantaneous thought about what to do. They suggested calling Volvo Oncall, and offered to stay on the phone with me while I pushed the button to activate the OnCall.

From there on out, things went pretty smoothly. The car had transmitted the address where I was located to them, they dispatched a tow truck. I got voice mail and text notifications to my phone when the tow was dispatched. The tow truck arrived in less than an hour, and towed me to the dealer, who I had called back to tell them it was coming in. They had a loaner XC60 available and sent me on my way pretty quickly.

They ended up having to keep the car overnight because they didn't have time to look at it until late in the day yesterday. They called me mid-day today to tell me it was fixed, and they had also updated the software with the November update and CarPlay.

The explanation wasn't super-informative -- I actually secretly recorded it with the Voice Memo app on my phone. Basically the service coordinator said they had two software updates to apply PLUS the "full car update that included CarPlay" and that fixed the issue. So it was a software-related issue, somehow, that had interfered with the car's ability to shift.

Picked it up today, and everything seems fine so far. The new software isn't immediately obviously different, but it did manage to retain the bluetooth connection to my phone. The service experience and whatever my dealer had to do to get help or input on the fix seems to have happened quickly.

Anyway... all's well that ends well? My car had to be towed, but I got it back in less than 30 hours. I didn't remember what people said about how to totally power down the car by unhooking one of the battery terminals, so maybe that would have worked.

This might be a reason to get the software update sooner rather than later...
So it's just "fixed" then? Did they apply the updates, start the car, and proclaim it was "fixed" when there wasn't a problem right away? Who's to say that it won't come back? I wonder how they know with absolute certainty that applying the software updates fixed it? Another example of them seemingly throwing spitballs onto a wall until one sticks. My guess is they really don't have any idea why it happened and that's why they were vague and pinned it on the software update.
 

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I have experienced a couple gear shifting glitches in this drive-by-wire system, but I surprised if it was just a software issue that it would physically prevent the sifter from moving into the gear slot. It's also surprising a reset (i.e. turning the car on and off) didn't fix it. I once had all the gears fail and act like neutral no matter which one I shifted to. But it auto-corrected when I cycled the car power and it didn't prevent me from shifting, it just didn't cause the car to react appropriately to the shifting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, if you think about it, it IS all "drive by wire" even with the gear shift lever. And the drive-by-wire does things like keep you from being able to shift into drive without putting your foot on the brake, and things.

To reply to an earlier post -- you are right, I don't know how it's possible to say "it's fixed and it won't come back" but it's likewise not possible to say it's not really fixed...
 

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Same thing happened to me. On mine though they replaced a gear shift module and updated the software. This was a month ago and since have had no problems.
 

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So question:

The non-crystal shifters maintain a mechanical linkage
The crystal shifters are E-tronic and have no linkage

So why does the mechanical linkage need a electronic software update. The only thing blocking the problem stated above physically would be something mechanically? Unless all shifters are E-tronic
 

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So question:

The non-crystal shifters maintain a mechanical linkage
The crystal shifters are E-tronic and have no linkage

So why does the mechanical linkage need a electronic software update. The only thing blocking the problem stated above physically would be something mechanically? Unless all shifters are E-tronic
That's kind of been my 'guess' from the beginning. Although it feels like it's mechanical as you shift in the T6, I still don't know if it really is mechanically tied to the transmission.

I know the button you press to shift from park to drive (and from other gears to other gears) is electronic whereas in some vehicles (and I'm not saying all) that button is mechanical in nature. So it is possible they just made it 'feel' mechanical but it is not.

I asked the service manager at my dealership about this while he was in my car two weeks ago troubleshooting my data issue and he had no idea what the answer was...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Same thing happened to me. On mine though they replaced a gear shift module and updated the software. This was a month ago and since have had no problems.
That's good to hear. Drool6 told me he thought he had seen someone report a gear shift issue a while back, but I hadn't had time to go look. I was specifically told, though, they they didn't actually replace any parts for me. Interesting.
 

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On a traditional car there is also electric control in mechanic gear shift handle, and there is the override key hole that allows you shift gear out of P when engine is not running, such as for repairing or towing.

So it could possibly is related to software. However time will tell. If same thing happens again then it should be problem in gear shift module hardware.
 

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Glad to see your car back to normal! Keeping my fingers crossed it stays that way for you :)
 

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So it's just "fixed" then? Did they apply the updates, start the car, and proclaim it was "fixed" when there wasn't a problem right away? Who's to say that it won't come back? I wonder how they know with absolute certainty that applying the software updates fixed it? Another example of them seemingly throwing spitballs onto a wall until one sticks. My guess is they really don't have any idea why it happened and that's why they were vague and pinned it on the software update.
+1. The true test will be if this happens again, even once, for the rest of the lifetime of the vehicle. Because once again...that's not the kind of thing you think of when you think of expected maintenance in a vehicle. That's a manufacturing defect or design flaw.
 

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Wow , now i don't feel like i'm the only one! the exact same thing happened to me on Tuesday 12.14.2015, took it into service the next day and waiting to see what happens , as soon as I have some new upates i'll post them. Hope it's as simple to fix as posted earlier!!
D5 Inscription, EU model
 

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This just happened to me on Saturday and it is in today for service. Does the OP by any chance have information on what updates were actually applied to your car and has the issue come back?
 

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Wouldn't it be strange that some shifters work with aid of electronics and others purely mechanical
in otherwise identical cars? Identical, I suppose, because nowhere have I read enything hinting at the
fact that the gearboxes or the shifters are different in any way. If there is a difference in functionality
of the shifters in different versions, wouldn't this be mentioned in the cars specifications somewhere?
 

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I'm not saying that software cannot be a cause here. My observations based on current issues I have with my care are that they just apply software updates and cross their fingers. I have the feeling that they get no more understanding of what is in a software update than we do.
 

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Wouldn't it be strange that some shifters work with aid of electronics and others purely mechanical
in otherwise identical cars? Identical, I suppose, because nowhere have I read enything hinting at the
fact that the gearboxes or the shifters are different in any way. If there is a difference in functionality
of the shifters in different versions, wouldn't this be mentioned in the cars specifications somewhere?
The gear selector is different between the T8 and the T5/T6 and the manuals do differ regarding this. I agree that I did not read anything about this in any materials prior to test driving but it was immediately obvious upon getting in a T6 vs. a T8. I thought they were both fully electronic and only differed by the crystal vs. leather. I was surprised that the T6 had a more traditional gear selector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sorry... OP here and just realized this thread had become active. I can go ask about be update, but I think as some of the recent posters have suggested, the actual Volvo workshops don't have much actual knowledge about what the software updates contain, and since my situation was almost a year ago, I'm sure there have been hundreds of updates since then.

Good news is (knock on linear walnut) my problem has never recurred and my 2016 Inscription has had no further issues since then.
 

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Wouldn't it be strange that some shifters work with aid of electronics and others purely mechanical
in otherwise identical cars? Identical, I suppose, because nowhere have I read enything hinting at the
fact that the gearboxes or the shifters are different in any way. If there is a difference in functionality
of the shifters in different versions, wouldn't this be mentioned in the cars specifications somewhere?

The gear selector is different between the T8 and the T5/T6 and the manuals do differ regarding this. I agree that I did not read anything about this in any materials prior to test driving but it was immediately obvious upon getting in a T6 vs. a T8. I thought they were both fully electronic and only differed by the crystal vs. leather. I was surprised that the T6 had a more traditional gear selector.
I recently had the opportunity to take a look at a T6 and a T8.
You are absolutely right, the shifters are definitely different!
 
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