News broke on Monday morning that Fiat Chrysler would investigate its 2015 Jeep Cherokee after the tragic death of actor Anton Yelchin. The model of Jeep Grand Cherokee that pinned Yelchin against his mailbox had previously been recalled due to a confusing gear shift design that made it difficult for drivers to determine which gear their vehicle was in.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its own investigation into the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs in August of 2015 after 14 complaints involving drivers believing their car was in park and the vehicles subsequently rolling away. The safety risks inherent in the design flaws are immediately apparent and of the 14 complaints received, five reports involved crashes, and three reports involved serious injuries. By April of 2016, the poorly designed gear shift was blamed for 41 injuries prompting Fiat Chrysler to initiate a voluntary recall of 1.1 million vehicles.
The L.A. County Medical Examiner’s Office notes that they believe the vehicle was not in park when Anton Yelchin walked behind it. Investigations into Yelchin’s untimely and preventable death will be ongoing.
If you or a loved one has had an accident caused by a recalled 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee or any other type of recalled vehicle, call the Hendon Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation at 770-284-3737.