The parents of “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin, who died when he was pinned by a rollaway Jeep Grand Cherokee in the driveway of his Studio City home, plan to file a lawsuit today against the automaker, alleging defects in the vehicle led to his death. The actor left behind several unreleased projects, including the Netflix animated series Trollhunters and four films. The Jeep rolled downhill onto him, pinning him against the mailbox pillar and security fence.
“Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin was killed in a auto crash in June.
The Coroner stated Yelchin died of blunt traumatic asphyxia. The Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be sued under wrongful death and product liability lawsuit.
In April, the company recalled 1.1m vehicles across the world over concerns that they could roll away after drivers exited.
Film trade publication Variety reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the USA has received over 700 complaints about the gear shift problem.
Specifically, the shifter has been faulted for not providing tactile feedback after each shift, requiring drivers to always look at the shifter’s display to verify the vehicle is in Park. “It was too little, too late and we intend to hold them accountable and we intend to have a jury punish them”.
As of late June, the NHTSA was aware of some 700 complaints regarding the issue, including 266 crashes and 68 injuries.
FCA US assembled the vehicle in Detroit.
“They should have never used this device”, attorney Gary Dordick said at a press conference in Beverly Hills, reports variety.com.
Yelchin’s parents posted a thank-you letter in industry publication The Hollywood Reporter to express their gratitude for all the support they’ve received.
Announcing the legal action at a news conference, Mr Yelchin said: “Despite our unbelievable grief, we made a decision to come here to prevent other family for the same tragedy”. Fiat Chrysler America said it had not yet been served with the lawsuit and could not comment on it.
“FCA US LLC extends its sympathies to the Yelchin family for their tragic loss”, the carmaker said in a statement. However, they did advise owners to follow the instructions in their owner’s manual and to become familiar with the instructions included in the recall.
The company added it was speeding up its recall of the vehicle.