Fiat Chrysler Investigating Recalled Jeep SUV in Actor’s Death

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Actor Anton Yelchin in 2015. The actor died when his recalled 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled and pinned him against a fence in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Photographer: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images
  • Drivers sometimes don’t find park with electronic shift lever
  • Company working on software update to force car into park

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is conducting a “thorough investigation” into the death of “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin, spokesman Eric Mayne said in statement on Monday.

The actor, who played Chekov in the revamped movie series including “Star Trek Beyond” to be released next month, died when his recalled 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled and pinned him against a fence in Los Angeles on Sunday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Fiat Chrysler recalled more than 1.1 million Grand Cherokees and large cars in April because the drivers sometimes exited vehicles without putting them in park. The company said at the time that it was aware of 41 potentially related injuries.

Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said on a conference call that the recall would involve a software update that would automatically shift it to park. “I find it almost unbelievable that we’re now forcing this transmission to go into park when the door is opened,” he said.

After initially aiming to have the new software by the end of the year, the automaker said in May 24 a letter to dealers that the remedy would be ready no later than August.

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