Rollaway Defect Blamed for Star Trek Actor’s Accidental Death

Earlier this month, the film industry and fans worldwide were dealt a shocking blow when popular young actor Anton Yelchin was found unresponsive in the driveway of his Studio City, CA home. In the early morning of June 19, friends of the 27-year-old veteran actor best known for his role in 2009’s Star Trek (a role he’ll reprise posthumously in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, slated for release July 22) found Yelchin pinned between his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar. A medical examiner with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office declared Yelchin dead later that day, identifying the cause of death as blunt traumatic asphyxia. 

Now, the investigation into Yelchin’s untimely demise has led to a proposed class-action lawsuit against manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, alleging an “unreasonable delay” in addressing a defective gearshift issue that can cause vehicles to roll unexpectedly. That very issue ultimately is to blame for Yelchin’s death, investigators say.

Yelchin’s Jeep was among several currently under a voluntary safety recall affecting 2012-14 Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s, and 2014-15 Jeep Grand Cherokees. According to the class-action suit, the recalled vehicles give no indication as to whether they’ve been placed into the safe-to-exit park gear. Plus, they lack the safety override that automatically puts the car in park if the driver’s door is open and there is no pressure on the foot. At the time of Yelchin’s death, not a single recalled unit had been repaired.

We here at E3 Spark Plugs hope that changes – fast! If your ride is among those recalled, please take the recall seriously. Head straight to your nearest Fiat Chrysler or Jeep dealership and ask for your free-of-charge repair.


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