More than a dozen lawsuits have now been filed against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the maker of the Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicle that was involved in the death of actor Anton Yelchin. As the Hollywood Reporter reports, the lawsuits, which have come from seven different states, have been consolidated and will be handled in the Eastern District of Michigan.
The lawsuits center on a faulty gear shift in several of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles models. Consumers claim that it is difficult to tell when the gear shift is in park or when it is in neutral, leading to several dangerous accidents in which drivers lose control of their vehicle. Affected models include the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Dodge Charger, the Chrysler 300, the Dodge Ram, the Maserati Quattroporte, and the Maserati Ghibili.
“The actions share complex factual questions arising out of allegations that the monostable electronic gearshift installed in certain vehicles manufactured by FCA US LLC is defective and unreasonably dangerous,” wrote Judge Sarah Vance, who chaired the panel that consolidated the lawsuits, “in that it allegedly fails to provide the driver with an adequate indication of whether the vehicle is in the ‘park’ position and lacks a safety override function that would place the vehicle in ‘park’ automatically when a driver exits the vehicle while it is in another gear.”
THE DEATH OF ANTON YELCHIN
Actor Anton Yelchin, best known for his role in the current Star Trek motion pictures, was found dead last June in his Southern California home. He was discovered pinned at the bottom of his steep driveway. Authorities believe that Yelchin attempted to put his Jeep Grand Cherokee in park and, when he went to check his mailbox, was crushed by the vehicle when it rolled back down the driveway.
Yelchin’s family has also filed suit against the automaker, but their suit is not included in the consolidated federal cases that will now be handled in Michigan. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has resisted accusations that their gear shifts are faulty and instead have accused Yelchin of misusing his vehicle.
If you have been hurt by a Fiat Chrysler vehicle or any other faulty product, then the time to seek proven counsel is now. At McMahan Law Firm, LLC, our knowledgeable and experienced Dalton product liability attorneys have recovered more than $15 million dollars in relief for our injured clients. We know the challenges these victims face after an injury and what it takes to ensure their voice is heard before our legal system.
Want to learn more about your legal options following your accident? Contact us today.