The past weekend saw the tragic death of Hollywood actor, Anton Yelchin, who was reportedly crushed when his SUV rolled backwards, pinning him against his brick mailbox pillar just outside his residence in Studio City, California. The SUV, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, is one of three models being recalled by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) due to a known e-shifter issue.
The e-shifter used in the Dodge Charger, Chrysler 300 and the 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokee models was not giving drivers an accurate indication of being shifted into P, hence causing the cars to roll away unexpectedly. A total of 41 injury cases linked to this fault have been reported, but Yelchin’s death is the first of its kind.
Investigators ruled out mechanical failure and an autopsy proved that Yelchin was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the fatal incident occurred. The actor’s cause of death was due to blunt force asphyxiation, and succumbed to it in under 60 seconds. In light of this, FCA will, in their latest recall exercise, update all affected car’s software that will prevent them from rolling away under certain circumstances, including when the driver fails to select Park.
The 27-year old actor is set to make a posthumous appearance as Pavel Chekov in the upcoming movie – Star Trek Beyond, in July. Meanwhile, FCA is conducting a full investigation into the incident.
The Jeep brand made its return to Malaysia in 2014 and its cars are distributed exclusively by DRB-Hicom. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is sold at RM448,889.