SUV that rolled, killed 'Star Trek' actor was under recall

Laura Christensen
June 22, 2016

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said on Monday it would investigate a crash that killed "Star Trek" actor Anton Yelchin in his recalled 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Following an investigation, the LAPD confirmed to multiple outlets that Yelchin's Jeep Grand Cherokee is a 2015 model year, an SUV that falls under an ongoing voluntary recall from Fiat Chrysler issued in April.

"Testing...indicates that operation of the (electronic) shifter is not intuitive and provides poor tactile and visual feedback to the driver, increasing the potential for unintended gear selection", the agency said in documents published on its website.

Anton Yelchin, a promising Hollywood star best known for his role as "Chekov" in the rebooted "Star Trek" films, is being remembered by his colleagues in the entertainment industry.

"Our hearts are heavy with this tragic news and Anton's family and friends are in our thoughts", said "Trollhunters" producers Netflix and DreamWorks Animation in a statement. Instead, there would be a warning light on the stick and there would be a chime when the door opened if the auto was in neutral. If they weren't in park and a driver left the vehicle, it could roll away.

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It was a total freak accident, but perhaps Anton Yelchin's death is one that could have been prevented. At the time, the company said it was aware of 41 injuries "potentially related" to the problem.

An only child, Yelchin was born to professional figure skaters in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) in Russian Federation, who moved to the USA when he was still a baby. "It was an accident plain and simple", while another added: "Mourning is not insinuating a town had anything to do with his death".

Police do not suspect foul play in the accident, and that toxicology reports could take months to analyze. He will appear posthumously in the third installment, "Star Trek Beyond", scheduled for release July 22. At the time of his death, he still had several projects in various stages of development, including the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, and was last seen in the excellent horror film Green Room.

Director J.J. Abrams, who cast Yelchin in the franchise, wrote in a statement that he was "brilliant... kind... amusing as hell, and supremely talented".

Other reports by My Hot News

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