27-year-old Star Trek Actor Anton Yelchin was crushed and killed by his own car in a freak accident at his Los Angeles home this past Saturday. The Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backwards and pinned him to his security gate with enough force to dent the metal fence. Yelchin was on his way to meet friends for a rehearsal when he stepped out of his car and was killed.
The model of truck was recently recalled, along with two other vehicles, for a defect in the gear selector.
An excerpt from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report reads as follows:
“Certain 2012 to 2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 vehicles and 2014 to 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles are equipped with an 8 speed transmission and a monostable gear selector. FCA US has determined that the existing strategies built into these vehicles to deter drivers from exiting the vehicle after failing to put the transmission into PARK have not stopped some from doing so. Drivers erroneously concluding that their vehicle’s transmission is in the PARK position may be struck by the vehicle and injured if they attempt to get out of the vehicle while the engine is running and the parking brake is not engaged. FCA US has therefore determined that the absence of an additional mechanism to mitigate the effects of driver error in failing to shift the monostable gear selector into PARK prior to exiting the vehicle constitutes a defect presenting a risk to motor vehicle safety.”
Drivers thinking that their car is in park could then be struck by the vehicle when they get out with the engine still running and the parking brake not engaged. Almost 250,000 models were recalled between July 16, 2012 and December 22, 2015. It is not known when Yelchin purchased his car.
The LA-based actor was born in Leningrad, Russia and was known for his rolls in Green Room and in the Star Trek reboot.