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Star Trek Actor’s Death Linked To Jeep Recall

On June 19, 2016, Anton Yelchin, most famously known for playing Pavel Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek films, lost his life in an accident involving his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yelchin was killed at his home, after his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backwards down his driveway and pinned him against a brick wall and a fence. This freak accident is still under investigation, but may be linked to a April 27, 2016 recall of the vehicle.

The Fiat-Chrysler Gear Shift Recall

On April 27, 2016, Fiat-Chrysler, manufacturers of the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee involved in the Yelchin fatality, recalled 1.1 million vehicles for having a confusing gear shift, leading to a rollaway risk. This recall was prompted by a National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration investigation that found the gear shift was “unintuitive.” Unlike typical gear shifters, the recalled shifter is moved back and forth to change gears, always returning to the same upright position regardless of gear. Since there is no difference in physical position, many operators did not understand when the vehicle was in park and subsequently, the gear shift has lead to a rollaway risk injuring 41 people to date. The confusing shifter is also responsible for 212 automobile accidents and 208 property damage claims. The recall impacts the following vehicles:

  • 2012-2014 Dodge Charger

  • 2012-2014 Chrysler 300

  • 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees

You can find more information about the recall by entering your vehicle’s VIN number at the Chrysler website at: Vehicles impacted by the recall, should be taken to the dealership to have new warning chimes installed and a software patch that will prevent rollaways when the vehicle is parked.

Is Fiat-Chrysler Liable For Anton Yelchin’s Death?

The Jeep Grand Cherokee involved in Yelchin’s death was part of the gear shift recall. Currently it is unknown if the faulty gear shift was the reason the car rolled into Yelchin. Both the police and Fiat-Chrysler are investigating the incident. So until the investigation is resolved, it is unknown if they will be held liable for Yelchin’s death. However, for the 41 people injured, the victims of the 212 accidents and the 212 people who experienced property damage, Fiat-Chrysler is liable for their damages.

Vehicle recalls can help during a product liability claim. However the burden of proof is more complicated than simply proving the vehicle has had recall. An individual has to prove their injury was a direct result of the recalled part. As in the case of Yelchin, it requires an investigation into the events of the injury. So if you believe that you have experienced an injury as a result of the Fiat-Chrysler recall, or any other product recall, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, like the experts at All Injuries Law Firm. With 30 years of experience in automotive and product liability cases, our attorneys can help you determine if the manufacturer was at fault for your injury. We can also help you file a claim, negotiate a settlement, and if necessary, represent you through the complex litigation process. So if you think you’ve been injured as a result of a faulty product, contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can help you.