For what it's worth, I "malleted" the shifter about 7 times before performing the "remove stupid broken plastic part" operation and have witnessed no ill effects to date. I am not recommending hitting the shifter with a mallet, just relating my own personal experience.It may have been covered in this thread already but I am wondering what damage, if any, may be caused by bumping down on the shift lever. I was in the pick and pull last week and needed to get a car out of park so that I could remove the center console. I pulled the shift knob off and hit the top moderately sharply with a hammer and it moved easily out of Park and into any gear position that I tried. Once back in Park, it locked again and would not move until I hit it.
What's the damage potential? I'm afraid that if I was somewhere and the lever would not come out of Park, I'd be very tempted to try it just to get the car moving.