The 27-year-old was killed when his Jeep – which was under recall – rolled backwards down the driveway of his Los Angeles home, trapping him between a postbox and a fence.
“Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin’s parents will file a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler after their son was killed in a freak auto accident, Variety reports. “We are seeking punitive damages because we believe Fiat Chrysler, North America – that made and manufactured and sold this product – knew that it was defective”.
Victor and Irina Yelchin sued executives at the vehicle company, alleging the gear selector in the 27-year-old’s Jeep Grand Cherokee was defective.
The lawsuit says Yelchin’s SUV did not engage or maintain its “park” setting, and that led to the vehicle moving and crushing the actor.
The vehicle was part of a FCA safety recall that in the USA includes more than 800,000 mid-size SUVs and full-size cars with transmission shifters now linked to 68 injuries and 266 crashes.
Along with the lawsuit, Anton Yelchin didn’t leave a will behind, so his parents have filed to become the administrators of his estate, which is comprised of $641,000 of personal holdings and $731,000 in equity in his home.
Yelchin starred as Chekov in the two rebooted “Star Trek” movies is seen in the third film in the series, “Star Trek Beyond”, which was released last month.
Fiat Chrysler issued a statement extending “its sympathies to the Yelchin family for their tragic loss” but declined to directly comment on the lawsuit.
According to The Associated Press, Yelchin’s SUV was among the more than 1 million vehicles recalled by Fiat Chrysler because its gear shift did not clearly indicate whether or not it was in park. The e-shifter “has an unfamiliar movement that is not intuitive and that provides poor tactile and visual feedback to drivers, increasing the potential for unintended gear selection and vehicle roll away”, the Yelchins’ lawsuit states, largely quoting a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Yelchin’s parents were clearly emotional during the conference, and spoke about their grief due to the death of their only child. The company said at the time that it was aware of 41 injuries potentially related to the gear shift.
They said: “Thank you, to all of you who have sent flowers and gifts, for your condolences and kind words”.
“The safety recall was way too little and way too late”, attorney Gary Dordick said at a press conference in Beverly Hills.
The discipline that Yelchin learned from his athlete parents translated into his work as an actor, which he treated with seriousness and professionalism, said Klinger, the director.
Yelchin’s mother Irina said: “We were always proud of him being the greatest human being – not for being a star”. “He loved life very, very much”.
The company added it was speeding up its recall of the vehicle.