Anton Yelchin, a popular Hollywood film actor perhaps best known for playing Chekov in the recent Star Trek movies, died in a tragic car accident. Friends of the celebrity found him pinned against a brick mailbox pillar by his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It is believed that the Jeep rolled down the driveway of Yelchin’s Los Angeles home and crushed the actor.
Yelchin was just 27 years old when he died in the car accident.
Now it has been revealed that the vehicle that killed Yelchin was the subject of a massive product recall. Fiat Chrysler, the auto manufacturer that makes the Jeep Grand Cherokee, issued the recall because the type of SUV that killed Yelchin had an issue with its gear shifter: the vehicle gear shifters had been known to confuse drivers, resulting in vehicles not being put into park and then unexpectedly rolling away. In fact, that may have been what caused Yelchin’s death, as he was crushed by his SUV while outside of the vehicle.
Fiat Chrysler’s product recall, which was issued in April 2016, affected 1.1 million vehicles driven on roads in the United States and throughout the world. Most Jeep Grand Cherokees made in 2015 were included in the recall.
Although the recall was issued voluntarily by Fiat Chrysler, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was reportedly urging the company to get the potentially defective vehicles off roadways. The NHTSA received numerous complaints from consumers who indicated that they simply could not recognize whether they had put their vehicles into “park.” The problem, noted NHTSA safety inspectors, was that a driver who wrongly believed that they had put the gear into “park” and then exited the vehicle could soon realize that their car was rolling away.
For additional information, read the Yahoo.com article, “The Latest: SUV That Rolled, Killed ‘Star Trek’ Actor Anton Yelchin Was Under Recall.”
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a defective auto part, you need to speak with a qualified product liability attorney. The experienced product liability lawyers at Lombardi & Lombardi can help you explore your legal options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation at one of our offices in Edison, Brick or Freehold, New Jersey.