Multiple news outlets reported over the weekend about the freak and tragic death of Hollywood actor, Anton Yelchin, who died when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backwards in his driveway and pinned him against his mailbox pillar and security fence.
It turns out that the 2015 Jeep Cherokee was recently recalled for an auto defect based on complaints from drivers who had trouble telling if they had put the automatic transmissions in park. If they were not in park and a driver left the vehicle, it could roll away. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a global recall of 1.1 million vehicles was announced by automaker Fiat Chrysler in April. As of April, the company had reports of 212 crashes, 41 injuries and 308 property damage claims potentially caused by the shifters, it said in documents filed with the government.
The recalled vehicles, including nearly 812,000 in the U.S., have an electronic shift lever that toggles forward or backward to let the driver select the gear instead of moving along a track like a conventional shifter. A light shows which gear is selected, but to get from drive to park, drivers must push the lever forward three times. The Grand Cherokee gear shifters were changed in the 2016 model year so that it works like those in older cars.
It is unclear at this time as to whether the defective gear shift was involved in Mr. Yelchin’s death or whether he had received the recall letter from Chrysler.
If you drive a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, it is highly urged that you take the vehicle into your dealer for defective gear to be replaced.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago auto defect case or Chicago traffic accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.