Fiat Chrysler is looking to fix a design issue in some of its gear shifts which may be found as the cause of death for “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin. The automaker notes that while drivers believe they have placed their cars in park only to have their cars rolling away, the car is actually in neutral.
Yelchin died on June 19, 2016 when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway and he was crushed between the car and a brick pillar. Chrysler said the company is still investigating the death and that it is too soon to determine the exact cause of the accident. This comes two months after it began sending recall notices to more than 1 million Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge owners, but there is still no fix according to CNN Money. The company has said that it “anticipates having the software updates required to remedy the vehicles no later than July or August of 2016.”
Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveal more than 300 consumer complaints about the gear shift issue. Within those 300 complaints lie 212 accidents and 41 injures. Those injuries included three people who fractured their pelvis, ruptured their bladder, fractured a kneecap, broke their ribs and injured their right leg.
As CNNMoney points out, it is not uncommon for a delay between when a problem is detected and when it can be repaired. An example of this has been highlighted in a blog post from The Michigan Law Firm regarding the recall of Takata airbags, which have a risk of exploding. At least 13 people have died from the defective airbags, making it the largest auto recall in history. But unfortunately, some drivers will have to wait until 2019 to get new air bags. And only on June 21, 2016 did Fiat Chrysler announce that it will stop building cars with the defective Takata airbags.
“We continue to expedite this campaign in the best interests of our customers,” Fiat Chrysler spokesman Eric Mayne said. Drivers who are confused about the operation of features as simple as a gear shifter should contact their car dealer with questions.
Are you having issue getting your Fiat, Chrysler, or Jeep into park? Car defects that are not properly repaired or replaced can lead to severe injuries and even death. If you see a recall out for your vehicle, even if it's for a minor defect, it is important that you have your car fixed or replaced as soon as possible. While a small error with the vehicle may seem negligible, it can cause serious consequences down the road. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident which was caused by car defects, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys will fight to the fullest extent of the law to get you the help you deserve. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.