Jeep Grand Cherokee Owners Blame Fiat Chrysler for Anton Yelchin's Death
'Star Trek' actor Anton Yelchin's death involved a Jeep Grand Cherokee which was reportedly under recall.
Jeep Grand Cherokee. (Photo Courtesy: Jeep India)
Jeep Grand Cherokee owners have filed suit in California against Fiat Chrysler, accusing the automaker of concealing a shifter design defect linked to driverless rollaway accidents, including the death of "Star Trek" actor Anton Yelchin.
The plaintiffs are seeking restitution for the diminished resale value of their Grand Cherokees stemming from the negative publicity surrounding the recent disclosure of the rollaway problem. Company spokesman Michael Palese said the automaker has not yet been served with the lawsuit and it would be inappropriate to comment before reviewing the case.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV issued a recall in April for 1.1 million cars and SUVs worldwide because the vehicles could roll away after drivers exit them. The lawsuit came as the company announced that software upgrades for all 1.1 million recalled vehicles would be available by the end of this month. While not acknowledging a design flaw in its transmission gear selectors, the company has said rollaway have occurred because drivers mistakenly believe they had placed the vehicles in park before getting out. Chrysler Fiat said the issue was linked to 700 incidents overall, including 41 injuries, 212 crashes and 308 reports of property damage.
A recalled 2015 Grand Cherokee was involved in death of Yelchin, 27, who was crushed when his vehicle rolled backward on the steep driveway of his Los Angeles home, pinning him against a brick wall and a fence. Los Angeles police have said their detectives were examining whether the recall issue played a role.
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