Fiat Chrysler has been official accused by owners of concealing the shift interlock design flaw that was linked to many roll-away accidents.
Owners of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs fitted with the confusing gear selector filed a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, claiming the automaker tried to cover up the accidents linked with the issue and it did not react faster to address it. They are also looking for compensation over value loss of their vehicles. “In light of the stigma attached to those vehicles by company’s conduct, they are now worth significantly less than they otherwise would be,” the lawsuit states.
FCA issued the recall in April, after US safety regulators decided in February to escalate an inquiry over roll-away complaints on some Fiat-Chrysler cars, a glitch linked to 41 injuries, 212 crashes and 308 reports of property damage. There are 811,586 affected vehicles in the US, namely certain model-year 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans and model-year 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs.
Following the death of the “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin, who was killed after his recalled 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away and pinned him against a fence and mailbox in Los Angeles, the automaker announced last week it began to speed up the software fix, a remedy that brings to the electronic shifter of the ZF eight-speed transmission a new feature called “Auto Park”.