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Star Trek reboot actor, Anton Yelchin, dies following auto roll-away accident

Star Trek reboot actor, Anton Yelchin, dies following auto roll-away accident”

The Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin in a freak accident over the weekend was recalled recently for a possible gear defect that could lead drivers to think they're in park when they're not.

According to police, Yelchin died from blunt force asphyxia when he got out of the vehicle and it rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a brick mailbox and a security fence.

Friends went to Yelchin's Studio City, CA home early Sunday morning after he didn't show up for a rehearsal.

Fiat Chrysler extended its "most honest condolences" to the family and friends of Yelchin, according to a statement emailed to the Detroit Free Press.

"Testing indicates that the operation of the (electronic) shifter is not intuitive and provides poor tactile and visual feedback to the driver, increasing the potential for unintended gear selection", the agency said in documents published on its website. Yelchin's Jeep Grand Cherokee may have had an unsafe design flaw.

Fiat Chrysler says it will investigate whether a fault with its 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was responsible for Anton
FIAT CHRYSLER Fiat Chrysler says it will investigate whether a fault with its 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was responsible for Anton Yelchin's death

While the Jeeps do offer an alert on the dash and an audible tone if you push the off button while the vehicle is not in park, it does not have a fail-safe like other automakers.

According to the NHTSA report, FCA determined that not having "an additional mechanism to mitigate the effects of driver error in failing to shift the monostable gear selector into PARK prior to exiting the vehicle constitutes a defect presenting a risk to motor vehicle safety". Those transmissions lack the typical grooves and sensation of moving the vehicle into park, drive or reverse.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated hundreds of reports that the model would continue to move freely when drivers thought they had locked it in "park".

Fiat Chrysler spokesperson Eric Mayne told CBS News recall "notices were mailed to affected customers". Included in those notices were tip sheets describing proper operation of the shifter.

 

 



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