“Star Trek: Beyond” actor Anton Yelchin could be the first reported death from a flaw in the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that made it part of a massive recall in April.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the London company that manufactures Jeeps under its Chrysler division, said it would conduct a “thorough investigation,” according to CNN, of the accident over the weekend that claimed the life of the 27-year-old.
The recall, which affected 1.1 million Grand Cherokees including, reportedly, Yelchin’s, had a gear selector issue that could make it unclear whether the vehicle was actually in park. When friends found Yelchin early Sunday morning, he had been crushed by his Cherokee against a wall and security fence. The vehicle was in neutral when it was found, Los Angeles police said, although it wasn’t clear why Yelchin exited the vehicle while it was not secured.
The manufacturer has plans to replace the parts on the affected vehicles, although that won’t happen until later in the year when those parts become available. Fiat Chrysler didn’t send an official recall out, because federal regulations don’t require such an action to take place until once the company is ready to make repairs. The company did, however, notify owners they should double-check the vehicle is in park before exiting, according to CNN.
Chrysler introduced the Grand Cherokee for the 1993 model year, replacing the Jeep Wagoneer. It’s considered a mid-size sports utility vehicle that can weigh up to 2,500 pounds.
Older models of the Grand Cherokee were recalled in 2013, according to reports, after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined Grand Cherokee and other Jeep products from the 1990s could catch fire in rear-end collisions, because of the location of the gas tank. More than 150 people were reportedly killed from the defect, which the company corrected by adding trailer hitches to the back of older Grand Cherokees.
In the most recent defect, the NHTSA said it had 117 incidents involving the gear shifter, including 28 injuries. However, there were no reported fatalities. The upcoming recall also will affect Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300s between the 2012 and 2014 model years. The Grand Cherokees affected are from the 2014-15 model years, and already have been corrected in the 2016 models, according to the company.
“FCA extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Yelchin,” Fiat Chrysler told CNN in a statement.