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Confirmed: Star Trek Actor Anton Yelchin Owned a Recalled Jeep Grand Cherokee

We're still shocked about the untimely death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, yet one thing is certain. The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee he owned was Anton’s undoing. And believe it or not, the American actor’s sport utility vehicle was subjected to a recall.
Anton Yelchin and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee shifter design 1 photo
That recall started life as an internal investigation in February 2016, then it ballooned into a voluntary campaign in April. Back then, we reported that Fiat Chrysler is calling back 1.1 million examples of certain Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger, and Chrysler 300 vehicles over a rather confusing shifter design.

FCA is aware of 41 injuries potentially related to the issue. “Some drivers have exited their vehicles without first selecting ‘PARK.’ Such behavior may pose a safety risk if a vehicle’s engine is still running.” As common sense dictates and as simply put as possible, those 1.1 million vehicles can roll away if they’re left in neutral.

Jalopnik supposed that the actor’s Grand Cherokee was one of those cars and, as fate would have it, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to the publication that the car is indeed a 2015 model year, which was subjected to the recall presented a paragraph before.

By leaving his Jeep in neutral, Anton Yelchin’s SUV rolled backward down his steep driveway, thus “pinning him against a brick mailbox pillar and security fence.” It appears that Anton had momentarily exited his car while the engine was running and died because of blunt traumatic asphyxia.

Although the LAPD’s investigation into the actor’s death is still developing, a question has to be posted at the present moment: why do recalls involving life-threatening defects are classified as voluntary by automakers? The 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee no longer uses the dreaded gear shifter design, nor will other 2017 Dodge/Chrysler vehicles.

autoevolution shares its deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Anton Yelchin.


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