Originally Posted by shreddr
Just what does that thing do? Just keep you from shifting when the motor isn't running?
Not exactly... all automatic cars have an interlock which prevents the transmission from being shifted out of Park if the brake pedal isn't depressed.
Because this interlock is electronic, it also requires the vehicle to be in at least the Accessory position.
If this interlock device fails (the switch wears out), or your car is dead and you want to put it in Neutral to push it out of the way, then you can disengage the safety interlock manually.
On the CT is is behind the little door thinking to the immediate right side of the shift lever. (you can see it in the pictures in this thread.)
Open the cover, and use the key to depress the mechanism. (In the pictures it is the white plastic bit on the bigger black plastic bit.)
All automatic transmission vehicles are required to have the interlock, and are also equipped with a way to manually bypass it.