Baltimore Personal Injury Lawyers: Jeep that Killed Actor Was Recalled

Anton Yelchin, an actor best known for his role in Star Trek, was fatally injured June 19th when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway, striking him and pinning him against a security gate. Investigators have not yet stated an official cause of the accident, but the evidence in the case indicates that a safety defect in the SUV may have played a role in the deadly crash. A recall was issued in April for 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees due to a safety concerns regarding the gearshift lever. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA,) the Jeep’s gearshift provides inadequate feedback for drivers and makes it difficult to determine which gear has been selected. Traditional gearshift levers are moved to different positions to select different gears; however, in the 2015 Grand Cherokee, the lever automatically returns to a central default position after a driver selects a gear. A driver might mistakenly believe that his or her car is in park, only to discover that it is actually in neutral after he or she exits the vehicle and it rolls away.

Yelchin’s SUV was found in neutral, but it is possible that he believed it was in park when he got out of the vehicle.  When Fiat Chrysler issued the recall in April, 41 injuries had already been reported in connection with the confusing gearshift lever. The car company is recalling 1.1 million cars and SUVs, including 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s. Notices were mailed to owners in May advising drivers to always use the parking brake until a remedy is made available for the unsafe gearshift.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of an accident caused by a dangerous or defective automobile, Baltimore personal injury lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will review your case at no charge to determine your best course of legal action. Car companies that fail to make automobiles that are reasonably safe may be liable for any injuries or fatalities that occur as a result of negligence. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online for a free consultation. You may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries or loss.