The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee model owned by Anton Yelchin that was involved in his tragic death on June 19th had previously been subject to a recall by manufacturer Fiat Chrysler after the company found that electronic shifts could spring back to their position after being moved to a different gear, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Agency (NHTSA) had determined that the operation of the gear shift in these models was not intuitive and provided poor tactile and visual feedback to the driver. The NHTSA found that the electronic shifts could spring back to their last position after being moved to a different gear, increasing the possibility that the vehicle could move unexpectedly if the parking brake was not applied
Fiat Chrysler automotive in April 2016 voluntarily recalled roughly 1.1 million vehicles, including 2014 and 2015 model Jeep Grand Cherokees, that had been manufactured between 2012 and 2015. The owners of the effected vehicles were to receive notices of the recall via post by mid-May 2016, and Fiat Chrysler hoped to resolve the problem by Q4 2016.
Fiat Chrysler issued a statement expressing sympathy to Yechin’s family and added that the company would conduct a thorough investigation of the accident. According to the Los Angeles Times report, at least 41 injuries were linked to the recall issue since April.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), who is conducting an investigation into Yelchin’s death, indicated today that its investigation was only in its preliminary stages. The investigation will look into whether Yelchin’s vehicle was in gear or park at the time of the accident, according to LAPD Media Relations Officer Jane Kim.
LAPD Valley Traffic Division detective William Bustos today said the crash was partially captured by a surveillance camera and ruled out foul play. Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office Spokesman Ed Winter today announced that investigators had concluded that Yelchin’s death had been caused by blunt traumatic asphyxia.