Recalled Jeep Cherokee Crushes Star Trek Actor

Jul 21, 2016

Are multiple, non-intuitive electronic vehicle control systems dangerous?

He was among the crew that could “boldly go where no one had gone before”. Anton Yelchin, the actor who played Chekov in the recent Star Trek Beyond movie series, battled scores of alien enemies on the big screen. However, he was powerless against his 2015 Jeep Cherokee on his own driveway.

The 27 year-old was tragically killed when his Jeep rolled down the driveway, pinning him between it and a brick mailbox. Preliminary reports do not expect foul play. The cause of the accident is believed to be the non-intuitive electronic monostable gear selector, known as an e-shifter. For those with limited automotive knowledge, it’s the P-R-N-D stick of an automatic transmission.

The vehicle in question was part of a recall due to hundreds of injuries and over 40 accidents being blamed on the defective e-shifter. It is difficult for drivers to ascertain when the e-shifter—an electronic vehicle control system—has sent the signal to the automatic transmission to put the car into “park.” This communication issue has resulted in rolling accidents. If causation is ultimately proven, the actor’s death may be the first fatality linked to the defect.

Over 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. (and 1.1 million cars worldwide) are affected by the recall. In addition to the 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee, the other Fiat Chrysler vehicles subject to the recall include the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and the 2012-2014 Chrysler 300.

In the recent race toward futuristic, highly-computerized, self-driving cars, many automobile manufacturers are rapidly converting multiple vehicle control systems from analog-based to electronics-based. Multiple computer systems responsible for the vehicle’s control—all interacting without built-in intuitive safety technology—may be a recipe for more disasters in the future.

The public has a right to vehicles which are safe on the roadway—and the driveway. The vehicle recall system is one way that dangerous, defective cars can be repaired and vehicle safety restored. But what if you’re having problems with your new or relatively new car and you’re not getting any satisfaction from the dealer or manufacturer?

Are you driving a lemon? Timothy Abeel & Associates, P.C. is a Consumer Law Firm that handles Lemon Law and Fraud cases. Call 1-888-611-5481 to discuss your case for free.

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