The U.S. government investigated confusing gear shift after an SUV recently crushed and killed its own driver, Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin.
The investigation found that the difficult-to-use Fiat Chrysler gearshifts caused 266 crashes and 68 injuries.
Investigators also discovered 686 customer complaints about the gear shift and that the U.S. automotive giant had been receiving negative consumer feedback about the vehicles shortly after they went on sale.
It is also alleged that Fiat Chrysler were prepared to violate simple design guidelines for the shifters.
Fiat Chrysler has agreed to recall 1,100,000 million vehicles.
Crushed By His Own Car
Yelchin, 27, died this summer after his Jeep Grand Cherokee wedged him between the bumper and a brick pillar at his LA home, effectively crushing him to death after he had exited the car.
Friends found him on the morning of June 19th, and described his death as a “freak accident.”
His Jeep was one of the vehicles Fiat Chrysler recalled earlier this year after drivers complained that they couldn’t reasonably tell if they had put their gearshift in ‘park’ after halting the car.
Many buyers said their cars had rolled off after they had exited the vehicle.
Fiat Chrysler have now installed warning chimes that alert driver’s when the driver door is open but the car is not in ‘park’.
The company has also urged drivers to follow instructions set out in the owners’ manual.
Police are still investigating Yelchin’s untimely death.
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