Bear with me for a moment. You brake it goes to AUTO STOP, you ease off the brake it AUTO STARTS but doesn't move. You brake again but this time it doesn't AUTO STOP and you place it in 'N'.
As long as the car isn't moving what difference would it be going from 'P' to 'N'? or 'D' to 'N'?
The difference is: (controlling) software.
I've seen software where someone tried to implement a software State Machine, but then didn't code it out completely (leaving loopholes) such that the "machine" would sometimes end up in 'no-mans land' - with no way of getting out - short of a power down of all related subsystems to 're-sync' them.
And then any time you create multiple paths to the same destination, you have to make sure one or more of those paths aren't inadvertently bypassing something they shouldn't be. A wireless key FOB signal needs to be introduced in the software at the right point so that it not only seamlessly follows the same path of the key, but also transparently considers additional interlocks that the key doesn't have to. If you get some part of this wrong, you can introduce a bug in one of the other, or both.
In this case, the engine is being re-started via a secondary path: STOP/START. But now the driver has thrown the transmission into NEUTRAL. There must be some logic loophole in there whereby the clutch plates are not releasing (??) because the software is mistaken as to which state the transmission is actually in? Just guessing here.
This is not that surprising, really. Most software is coded and tested to a Functional Spec, and little else. The better systems go further with "defensive coding" and more exhaustive testing, but that takes more time and money. Plus - you've got Quality Control people who really don't provide any "Quality" at all. They're mostly only catching the most obvious stuff: "Does this Test document test every requirement in this Functional Spec?" Well, yeah, it does ... but what if something out of the ordinary happens? Did you test for any of *that*? "No. We don't have time for that!".
That's called "User Test". LOL!