Following the fatal accident that killed “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin, Fiat Chrysler said it was speeding up the recall over the 1.1 million vehicles that could roll-away because of the problematic shifter.
Actor Anton Yelchin, who played in recent “Star Trek” movies, was killed on Sunday after his recalled 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled away and pinned him against a fence and mailbox in Los Angeles. In a May 24 letter to dealers, Fiat Chrysler said it anticipated having the software updates required to fix the 1.1 million affected vehicles no later than July or August. The automaker said this week it begun to speed up the software implementation, a remedy that is already available for the models powered by the 3.6-litre and 5.7-litre engines, which account for the majority of the recalled vehicles. The upgrade includes a new feature called “Auto Park” that “eliminates the possibility of the driver inadvertently failing to place the transmission into ‘PARK’ prior to exiting the vehicle,” according to a document sent to dealers which was first reported by the automotive website Jalopnik.
The company issued the recall in April, after the 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 vehicles in the US affected by this safety campaign, namely certain model-year 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans and model-year 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. Also, subject to recall are an estimated 52,144 vehicles in Canada, 16,805 in Mexico, and 248,667 outside the NAFTA region.