Jeep Motor Vehicle Recalls Could Have Caused Actor’s Death
It seems like you hear the news about motor vehicle recalls all the time. Many Americans either ignore the recalls because they don’t think it is that big of a deal, or they never think their car might be affected. If you are one to ignore these recalls, consider this your wake-up call.
The death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, 27, might be linked to a recall of his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee model had a recall by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in April due to roll-away risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that the SUV has an “e-shifter” or “Monostable shifter” that doesn’t have the usual tactile response of shifting into a new gear. This causes drivers to get out of the car thinking it is in park when it really isn’t. This issue has caused a known 41 injuries and could be the cause of Yelchin’s death. Yelchin’s Jeep rolled back down his steep driveway and pinned him between a brick pillar and metal gate.
The car manufacturer said, “The vehicles involved in these events were inspected and no evidence of equipment failure was found”. However, the manufacturer did say that “while the vehicle warns occupants if the driver’s-side door is open while the engine is running and the transmission is not in the Park position, such measures may have been insufficient”. They plan to fix this in future models by updating software to warn drivers better.
An FCA spokesperson told Autoblog that, “I can confirm notices were mailed to affected customers. Included in those notices were tip sheets describing proper operation of the shifter. This supplemental information echoes the instructions in the owner’s manual. While it is unknown if Yelchin was aware of this information, it is an important reminder for all car owners to stay aware of vehicle recalls to prevent terrible accidents like this one from happening. You can use this resource to check all the current and past car recalls in the US.