Anton Yelchin's Parents File Lawsuit Against Fiat Chrysler

Fiat Chrysler Recall Car Crash Lawyer

Back on August 9, 2016 The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog informed readers that actor Anton Yelchin's parents had filed a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit against Fiat-Chrysler and the dealership that sold Yelchin his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yelchin was an actor best known for his role as Chekov in the remake of the fan-beloved Star Trek film franchise. Reuters reported that Yelchin had driven back to his home to grab an item he thought he had forgotten and hopped out of his vehicle thinking it was in park. However, the car began to roll backwards along Yelchin’s steep driveway crushing the 27-year-old.  This motor vehicle vs pedestrian accident caused his tragic death. It was later discovered that Yelchin's vehicle was under recall for a defective gear shift.

Late Recall Letter

811,000 vehicles nationwide and 1.1 million cars and SUVs globally, were affected by the recall. The auto recall covered models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Sport from the 2014-2015 model year, and models of the Dodge Charger and the Chrysler 300 Sedans from the 2012-2014 model years.

The lawyer representing Yelchin's parents contended that a recall letter arrived seven days after Yelchin’s death, which was obviously too late to be of use to the late actor. The Yelchin lawyer has since chosen to reveal the contents of the undated letter which stated, "Your vehicle may roll away, striking and injuring you, your passengers, or bystanders, if the vehicle's engine is left running, the parking brake is not engaged, and the transmission is not in the "PARK" position before exiting the vehicle."

In response to the lawsuit, the Valencia, California dealership that sold Yelchin the Jeep, submitted a request to be removed from the wrongful death lawsuit. Their explanation for the request was that Yelchin should be blamed for his own death due to the "misuse, misapplication, or damage” of the vehicle. The New York Daily news reported that the dealership accused Yelchin's parents of tampering with the Jeep after the accident and that they suggested that Yelchin himself made adaptations to the Jeep shortly after purchasing it.

Fiat-Chrysler Recall

In light of Yelchin’s death and the Jeep recall, his parents were not the only ones that sued over the defective gear shift. In fact, seven more class action lawsuits from California, Tennessee, and New York have been filed and are being consolidated here in Michigan, close to Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) U.S. headquarters, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Additional lawsuits like one from Texas involving a San Antonio woman jumping from her roll-away Jeep, seem to filed more and more frequently. Sonya Dawson, 49, parked her 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee before she exited the running vehicle and closed the door. Dawson alleges seeing the vehicle starting to roll backwards out of the corner of her eye and then began to give chase to stop her vehicle. She tried stopping it by pressing down on the brakes but was ejected.  The car ran her food over causing significant foot injuries.  Her personal injury attorney argues that the shifter doesn't include a safety override to allow drivers to exit the vehicle when it is not in park. 

Yelchin's story shows the importance of automakers sending recall notices out in a timely fashion - preferably as soon as the malfunction is discovered. In turn, owners of those vehicles owe it to the safety of themselves and others to quickly get the vehicle serviced by the manufacturer and/or their certified mechanics.

It is important to take immediate action when a vehicle is under recall. Ignoring the recall or getting the vehicle serviced too late may lead to serious consequences such as minor and fatal injuries and death, if the vehicle's malfunctions lead to a car accident and the possibility of serious injury.

Drivers who are interested in knowing if their vehicle is under recall are encouraged to look up their VIN number on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's website. Have you or someone you know been injured in an accident involving a vehicle under recall? If so, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC for a free consultation today. Contact us at 844.4MI.FIRM.

Actor Anton Yelchin's Parents File Lawsuit Against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Anton Yelchin Death Lawsuit

The parents of late actor Anton Yelchin have spoken out after filing a wrongful death and product liability lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this week, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Anton was our only son and was a remarkable human being. It is wrong, it is against nature when parents bury their own child,” Victor Yelchin, Anton’s father, said at a media conference. 

The 27-year-old actor, who was most recently a part of the highly successful and popular film, Star Trek Beyond, was killed by his own vehicle June 19th, 2016 when he left his California home for rehearsal. According to the police report, Yelchin had exited his Jeep Grand Cherokee, leaving it parked in his driveway. The car, which was subject for a recall from Fiat Chrysler, started to roll down the steep driveway, and pinned Yelchin against a brick pillar and security fence. Los Angeles County medical examiners determined that Yelchin’s death was accidental and was caused by “blunt traumatic asphyxia.” 

The actor’s SUV was included in a global recall of 1.1 million vehicles by Fiat Chrysler. Gary Dordick, the family’s lawyer says that a May recall notice sent out by the car company to notify the public of the recall wasn’t found in Yelchin’s possession, and a second letter was mailed to Yelchin’s home seven days after he had died. “The safety recall was way too little and way too late,” said Dordick. “We hope this lawsuit will teach them a lesson.” 

Fiat Chrysler Recall Lawyer

Dordick also said that the type of vehicle Yelchin was driving had over 700 rolling incidents and dozens of people injured, but there was a lack of response from the automaker. “The problem with the gear shift is that people mistakenly think it’s in park and there’s no warning,” Dordick explained. A government investigation into the gear shift found 266 crashes which injured 68 people, as of late June 2016. 

The Detroit Free Press reported that at the time of Yelchin’s death, Fiat Chrysler extended it’s “most sincere condolences” to his family and friends. However, on Tuesday, the Yelchins said the company had not directly apologized for the incident. Within an hour of the family’s press conference, Fiat Chrysler sent out another statement: 

“We extend our sympathies to the Yelchin family for their tragic loss. The company has not been served with a lawsuit and cannot comment further at this time. FCA US urges customers to follow the instructions in their owners manuals and the information cards sent with their recall notices. These instructions include advising customers to set the parking brakes in their vehicles before exiting.”

Car defects and malfunctions can cause drivers to lose complete control of their vehicle, which can put their lives and the lives of others at risk. Therefore, any notices of recalls should be evaluated seriously. It is important to make sure that your car dealer or the maker of your automobile has your most current address, to ensure that you receive notification of any recalls in the mail. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a car accident which was caused by a car defect, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys will work alongside you to get you the help you need, including any reimbursement for medical services, wage loss, or pain and suffering that you may be entitled to under Michigan law. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Fiat Chrysler Recalls 1.1 Million Vehicles Worldwide

Chrysler Recall Lawyer

Fiat Chrysler is recalling over a million vehicles worldwide, due to a gear shifting defect. CNN Money reported that the issue stems from the gear shifter allowing drivers to leave the car without putting the car in park, or forgetting to put the vehicle in park, causing the car to still be mobile. The shifter makes it very hard to tell what gear the car is actually in, which might seem like a small issue, but has lead to a recall of over 1.1 million vehicles worldwide.

The car does have warning signs, but this still has allowed for drivers to leave the vehicle without putting it in park. The remedy for the issue is to place more warning lights, and also make changes to stop the vehicle from moving even if it isn’t in park. The vehicles have been recalled are the model year 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans. Model year 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs are also included in the recall. So far, there have been 41 injuries that are potentially related to making this mistake. Those who are affected by the recall will be informed by Fiat Chrysler and the issues will be fixed at no charge to the owners.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Typically an owner of a vehicle is informed by mail if their car has been recalled. It is also very easy for drivers to check whether their car has been recalled at Simply enter the vehicle's VIN and the site will pulls up any active recalls the vehicle may have. Ensuring that a car is recall free is important because recalls are typically safety related and leaving a car unchecked is very dangerous for drivers. Cars which are operated despite having safety problems are likely to injure the driver and put everyone on the road in danger of a car crash.

If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, call The Michigan Law Firm PLLC. Our attorneys are highly experienced in handling all types of motor vehicle accidents, including those involving cars with recall notices and safety problems. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.