Fiat 500 Recalled for Rollaway Hazard
The parents of “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, manufacturer of the Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed the 27-year-old when it rolled down the driveway and crushed him. According to an ABC news report, the SUV was under recall when the incident occurred. The actor’s parents, Victor and Irina Yelchin, filed the wrongful death and product liability lawsuit against the automaker in Los Angeles Superior Court about six weeks after their only son’s death.
Recalled SUV Crushed Actor
The lawsuit states that the gear selector in the actor’s Jeep was faulty and that it was poorly designed and manufactured. It also says that Yelchin, best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the rebooted “Star Trek” franchise, was crushed and remained alive for sometime suffering as he trapped and suffocated to death. Yelchin’s Jeep rolled backward down the driveway of his Los Angeles home on June 19, 2016 pinning him between a mailbox and a security fence.
That SUV was among 1.1 million vehicles recalled in April because its gear shifter confused drivers. They also caused the vehicles to suddenly roll away, causing 266 crashes and injuring 68 people as of late June. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Yelchin received a safety recall notice in May and another was sent to the actor seven days after he died that the automaker had a fix for the gear shifter.
The lawsuit contends that the automaker’s actions were too little too late. The complaint also says Yelchin’s SUV did not engage or maintain its “park” gear, which led to the vehicle rolling away and crushing the actor. Yelchin apparently believed his vehicle was in park when he went back in to his home to get something.
Serious Concern Over Recalled Vehicles
According to recent estimates, one in six vehicles out on our roadways has been recalled for safety issues, but hasn’t been fixed. These vehicles are basically death traps on wheels. What happened to this young, budding actor is heartbreaking. It is deeply concerning that automakers are doing little to nothing to ensure that consumers bring these dangerous vehicles to dealers and get them fixed. Some automakers are even taking their own time to get the repairs going.
We’re talking about several months here. There is no question that these automakers are putting profits over the welfare of consumers, not just by making these substandard products, but also by not making the necessary effort to ensure that all affected consumers are properly informed about safety recalls.