In a quest to avoid safety problems, car manufacturers will recall a vehicle from time to time so as not to put the driver or others at risk of injury or loss. One such recall occurred earlier this year and was issued by Fiat Chrysler. The company was concern about their Jeep Grand Cherokees, which apparently had a “rollaway” risk. This risk resulted from drivers who suffered injury after they mistakenly believed that the vehicle was in the park position.
The recall is voluntary and directly affects 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the defect relates to the fact that these particular vehicles were manufactured with automatic transmissions and gear selectors that give an inadequate warning to drivers that the vehicle is not in the park position. The effect is that drivers could exit the car and mistakenly believe that the car was parked.
Early in June of this year, a death was allegedly linked to this “rollaway” risk. The victim was an actor in the current Star Trek film series, Anton Yelchin. There is no evidence to prove that his death was a direct result of the problems associated with the Jeep Grand Cherokees. What is clear is that Yelchin died after his vehicle pinned him to a mailbox located at the end of a steep driveway. What is also confirmed is that he was driving a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, Yelchin’s death is not the only accident that has been associated with the vehicle under recall. Unfortunately, there have been more than 200 accidents, 308 property damage claims and more than 40 other injuries relating to the same “rollaway” issue.
Fiat Chrysler Automotive, who are the manufacturers of the vehicle, are aware of the particular risk associated with it. It is attributed to the design of the jeep’s electronic shifter. A driver will only know the vehicle is sufficiently parked by a light installed on the console. According to Fiat, if drivers do not exercise due diligence they may assume the car is in park when it is not.
While the company would not comment on the relation between the issue with the jeep and the death of Yelchin, they have indicated that they have taken precautionary steps. The company maintains that it has notified and provided detailed instructions to owners as to how to operate the electronic shifter without causing the risk in question.
The “defects” relating to the 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees could cause serious injury and loss. As a manufacturer, Fiat Chrysler has a duty of care to its customer to provide a product that is not harmful. If you suffered property damage or personal injury resulting from the “rollaway” risk of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, you should speak with an attorney.
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we possess years of experience representing clients who have been the victims of faulty products. We have spent a lot of time researching and preparing product liability claims, and we will be able to advise you on the possibility of success in your case. Product liability claims are complicated and time sensitive.
Call us today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a consultation.