Anton Yelchin’s accidental death has sparked a class action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after the Star Trek star was killed in a freak accident on Sunday, June 19.
As Us Weekly previously reported, the 27-year-old actor was fatally pinned between his brick mailbox and security fence after his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down the steep driveway of his L.A. home. He died of blunt traumatic asphyxia within a minute of the accident, according to the Los Angeles County’s coroner office.
Yelchin’s SUV was reportedly one of the 1.1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles that were recalled because of a faulty gearshift that made it difficult to put the car into Park, Drive or Reverse.
According to Deadline, the class action suit, which was filed on Thursday, June 23, accuses the manufacturer of “intentionally covering up fatal design flaws and deaths from the defects.”
“The safety issue is real,” law firm Hagens Berman Sobel Shapiro wrote in the complaint. “Well over 300 accidents have already been reported, causing dozens of serious injuries, and potentially the death of Anton Yelchin, a young Hollywood actor who was crushed to death when his own 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his drive and pinned him against his brick mailbox.”
The lawsuit seeks to force Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to replace the gearshift or “install a safety override system that would automatically move the vehicle into park if the driver’s door is open and the foot brake is released,” according to The Hollywood Reporter, which also noted that damages “will be in excess of $5 million.”
Yelchin’s death was ruled accidental by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Investigators are still probing whether the gearshift was a factor in his demise.
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