Star Trek Actor’s Death Possibly Linked to Jeep Cherokee Electronic Shifter Design

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In a tragic accident that occurred over the weekend, Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin was killed after becoming pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and his mailbox at the end of his driveway. Friends became alarmed when the actor did not meet them for a rehearsal, and went by his home. He was found pinned between the car and the mailbox. According to law enforcement officials, the engine was running when he was discovered, the car was in neutral, and the driveway was on a steep incline.

The LAPD recently confirmed that the actor’s Jeep Grand Cherokee is a 2015 model. Those vehicles are under an ongoing voluntary recall from Fiat Chrysler that was issued in April. The voluntary recall involves Fiat Chrysler’s electronic shifters and a design that is confusing and difficult to use for some customers. The primary issue involves drivers exiting the vehicles before the transmission is fully in park. The NHTSA concluded that the vehicle’s alerts, which warned drivers that the car was not in park while the door was open, were not sufficient and could result in the car rolling away.

Although a definitive link between the actor’s death and the problems with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, it seems possible that he exited the vehicle while it was not in park, walked to the bottom of the driveway, and was pinned there by the vehicle. According to the NHTSA, the shifter confusion has played a role in 117 crashes, with at least 28 injuries and possibly even more deaths.

If a problem with a vehicle has caused you to have an accident or suffer an injury, call the personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. We can help. The vehicle’s manufacturer may be held legally liable. Call us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation. You can also visit us on Google Plus
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