Was Anton Yelchin’s Death Linked to a Jeep Grand Cherokee Recall?

#hashtags: #Star Trek #Yelchin #Jeep #SUV #Fiat Chrysler

Following a tragic accident involving his own car, “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin passed away early Sunday morning. The young actor died after becoming pinned between his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the mailbox at the end of his driveway.

Following an investigation, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to multiple outlets that Yelchin’s Jeep Grand Cherokee is a 2015 model year. As it turns out, the SUV falls under an ongoing voluntary recall from Fiat Chrysler issued in April. The voluntary recall involves parent company Fiat Chrysler’s electronic shifters and a design that has for some customers been confusing and difficult to use. The primary issue involves drivers exiting the vehicle before the transmission is fully set in “Park.” Both FCA and NHTSA concluded the alerts warning drivers that the car is not in “Park” while the door was open were not adequate and could result in the car unintentionally rolling away.

From the tragic circumstances, it is possible that Yelchin exited the Grand Cherokee while the SUV was not in “Park” and walked to the bottom of his driveway to check the mailbox, where he was pinned by the SUV.

While a confusing shifter might sound slightly ridiculous, NHTSA reports this shifter confusion played a role in 117 alleged crashes, with 28 injuries as a result. FCA itself claims 41 injuries might be a result of the shifter issue.

A spokesperson from FCA told Reuters the company would conduct a “thorough investigation” of Yelchin’s accident. “It is premature to speculate on its cause at this time,” spokesperson Eric Mayne said.