The vehicle that rolled backward recently killing its owner, Anton Yelchin, best known as a Star Trek actor, was a vehicle model that had been previously recalled. The vehicle was recalled due to a gear shift concern that was confusing to drivers who may accidentally be led to believe that the car was safely in park when it was in neutral. The actor was killed after he got out of the vehicle and it rolled down his steep driveway, crushing him against a mailbox that was reinforced with concrete.
The actor’s vehicle, a 2015 Jeep Cherokee, was part of a recall of 812,000 vehicles from earlier this year made by automaker Chrysler. Included in the recall were 2014 and 2015 Jeep Cherokee models. The recall followed an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after it received complaints from owners and learned of dozen of injuries related to the concern. The company has been in trouble before for safety concerns and was hit by federal regulators with $105 million in penalties last year. The company received the penalties for failing to recall and timely repair vehicles.
The car maker reported earlier in the year that it was aware of 41 injuries related to the recall. While the possible connection between the problem resulting in the recall and the fatal accident involving the Star Trek actor is investigated, there is no remedy available for the recalled concern from the automaker at this time. Consumers have a reasonable expectation that they will not be injured by their motor vehicles and protections available to them and their families when they are harmed. Victims and their families may be able to seek accountability and compensation for their damages from the manufacturer of a defective vehicle or others.
Because there are several different types of protections available to victims of defective vehicles, it is important for victims to be familiar with them. Legal options are one resource that can help victims recover compensation for the financial and emotional damages they and their families have suffered as a result of a defective vehicle.
Source: The New York Times, “Jeep That Crushed Anton Yelchin Had Been Recalled,” June 20, 2016