Update 6/20/2016 12:31 p.m. EST: TMZ reports that a recall notice on Yelchin’s 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo went out on May 14, 2016, but had never been addressed.
The notice specifically stated, “Drivers may inadvertently fail to achieve the PARK position before exiting.”
The faulty shift mechanism may lead drivers to believe their vehicle is in park when it is really left in neutral.
If the vehicle had been fixed, it could have possibly saved his life.
The tragic accident that killed 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin over the weekend could have been caused by a faulty shifting mechanism.
TMZ reports that the Jeep that Yelchin owned had been recalled because the shifting mechanism caused some drivers to mistakenly put it into the wrong gear.
On Sunday, news broke that the actor had been killed in a tragic accident. Yelchin was reportedly leaving his home around 11 p.m. Saturday when he got out of the car after clearing the security gate. His 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was on a steep incline when it rolled backwards and pinned the actor against the gate. He was found by his friends around 1 a.m. on Sunday.
The 2015 Cherokee models had been recalled because of the e-shift transmission lacks the grooves that allow drivers to feel the gear changes. According to the recall notice, the shifting mechanism gives “poor tactile and visual feedback to the driver” and can result in the driver mistakenly putting the car in neutral, thinking it was in park.
New models of the vehicle now have a better shifter.
Yelchin’s cause of death has been ruled “blunt traumatic asphyxia.” There is no world yet if a faulty shifting device caused the accident.
Friends and colleagues of Yelchin have openly mourned and paid tribute to the late actor on social media.