Fans of Anton Yelchin were stunned when the actor was recently killed by his own vehicle just outside his home. The 27-year-old stopped his Jeep Grand Cherokee in his driveway and stepped out of the SUV, which proceeded to roll down the driveway, pinning the actor against a concrete post. When news broke that the 2015 vehicle had been subject to a recall for problems with the gearshift, the public began to wonder if this was a contributing factor in the death of the actor best known for his work in the new Star Trek franchise of films.
The Los Angeles coroner’s office ruled the tragic death an accident, but that does not put aside questions regarding the recall on the vehicle. Fiat Chrysler, the manufacture of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, is cooperating with local police in investigating what caused the SUV to roll down the driveway. A complaint has already been filed for a class action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler in regards to the recall. The Jeep owners involved feel the company had an “unreasonable delay” in properly addressing the problem with the gearshift.
Last year federal regulators had a similar issue with Fiat Chrysler, issuing $105 million in penalties on the company for not conducting recalls or completing repairs in a timely matter. Recalls to the 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, as well as Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s from 2012-2014, were released in April after an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The lever on the gear shift appears to be in the park position, while it is actually in neutral. If the driver gets out of the vehicle there is a chance it will start to move. Despite the recall, Fiat Chrysler has not yet found a way to fix the problem. There has been no confirmation to date if Anton Yelchin received one of the recall letters or was aware of the problem with the gearshift.
Car manufacturers must ensure that every aspect of a vehicle is safe before it goes on sale to the public. When they fail to do so, they are not only putting the lives of their customers at risk but anyone who shares the road with them as well. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury as the result of an auto defect, you need an attorney who will not back down from auto makers. Please call the qualified and experienced lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C., to take on the companies who have put you and your family in serious danger.