Death of ‘Star Trek’ actor to be investigated by Fiat Chrysler

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Fiat Chrysler said it would open an investigation over the fatal accident that killed “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin in his recalled 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Actor Anton Yelchin, who played in recent “Star Trek” movies, was killed in a stupid accident on Sunday after his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away and pinned him against a brick pillar. In February of this year, US safety regulators have decided to escalate an inquiry over complaints that some Fiat-Chrysler cars have “problems” with their transmissions system, as many drivers have reported that their cars are rolling away.

The issue, linked to 41 injuries, 212 crashes and 308 reports of property damage, is with the electronic shifter of the ZF eight-speed auto transmission which acts like a joystick by always returning to its initial position and gear-selection is conveyed to drivers by indicator lights. It has been found that some drivers have exited their vehicles without first selecting “Park” before stepping out, thus leading to the car rolling away. Therefore, the automaker in April recalled more than 1.1 million cars and SUVs to update the system to automatically prevent a car from moving, even if the driver fails to select “Park.”

In a May 24 letter to dealers, Fiat Chrysler said it anticipated having the software updates required to fix the vehicles no later than July or August.

Officials have not had any proof yet that Yelchin’s tragic death was linked to the shifter problem. Fiat-Chrysler said this week it would open an investigation concerning the accident, but “it is premature to speculate on its cause at this time,” a spokesman added.

Via Reuters