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Personal Injuries Caused By Auto Defects

A fast-moving car, auto defects

Auto Defect Possibly to Blame for Actor's Death

Auto defects can be the cause of personal injury and even death, as was shown in the recent fatal accident involving a Hollywood actor and his recalled vehicle. Motor vehicle accidents do not always occur because of driver error, speeding, drunk, fatigued or distracted driving.

Less common motor vehicle accidents resulting in personal injury can also be caused by automotive defects. Sometimes a manufacturer recalls these vehicles, but many times the defective automotive part is not identified until after a fatality has occurred.

On June 19, 2016 Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin, aged 27, was tragically killed after his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway, pinning him against his mailbox and a security fence.

Recall Announced

In April of this year, Fiat Chrysler announced the recall of almost 812,000 vehicles including the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee which was recalled for poor gear shift design that has been known to confuse drivers. Apparently, the electronic gearshift is easily left in the "neutral" or "drive" position when thought to be safely in "park." The gearshift works like a joystick and returns to the center position once a gear is selected. In order to confirm that it is definitely in park, one needs to look at the LED on the shifter which disappears in the sunlight or on the digital display on the dashboard.

Before Anton Yelchin's tragic death, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had received 314 complaints about roll away incidents due to the poor gear shift design on the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 121 reports of crashes and 30 injuries. A significant number of these injuries were severe resulting in a fractured pelvis, a ruptured bladder, a fractured kneecap, and broken ribs.

Software Update Announced

Fiat Chrysler sent a software patch to its automobile dealers in June to fix the confusing gear shift. The software fix will first be available to Jeep Grand Cherokees with 3.6 litter and 5.7 litter engines. A McHenry county personal injury attorney recommends that all 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee owners immediately make an appointment with their car dealers to have the gear shift problem corrected. Once the software update is installed, the transmission will automatically shift to "park" if the driver's seatbelt is unbuckled, the driver's side door is opened and the gear shift is in "neutral," "drive" or "reverse."

 

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908 S Illinois Route 31
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