In April, Fiat Chrysler Automotive (FCA US), voluntarily recalled 32,267 Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles that were manufactured between May 2015 and February 2016. The recall is due to a problem with the gear selector. Drivers erroneously conclude that the vehicle is in park when it is not in park can get hit by the vehicle and suffer injuries when they attempt to exit the vehicle while the engine is still running but the parking brake is not engaged according to a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration NHTSA recall safety report. There have been 68 reported injuries and 266 reported crashes in 2014-105 model Jeep Grand Cherokee models that are equipped with the new kind of gear shift control that has caused confusion for drivers and led to several instances of vehicles rolling away.
In June, Gizmodo reports that actor and Star Trek star, Anton Yelchin died at his California home when his Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him to his mailbox at the bottom of a steep driveway.
The problem with the new Jeep gear shifter
Consumerist has a great article that explains the problem with the new design of the electronic gear shifter. “Unlike a traditional shifter, the electronic version is simply moved forward and backward to select gear. Once the gear has been selected, the shifter returns to the centered position.” The new system can be a bit confusing especially for drivers who are used to a more traditional gear shifter. The NHTSA opened its investigation after receiving consumer complaints about their Jeep rolling away after they believe that they put the vehicle in park.
Here is an example of some of the complaints that the NHTSA has received with regard to the confusing gear shifter on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and other FCA vehicles from a consumer in Auburndale Florida:
“I backed up to a parking stall and shifted transmission in what I thought was park, but the transmission was still in reverse. When I was exiting the car, it started to move backwards. I hit the brake pedal, but the car hit a post. There was some damage to the rear bumper.”
The Jeep Grand Cherokee recall affects approximately 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. Vehicle owners will receive a recall notice from FCA USA informing them about the recall and when replacement parts will be available to that repairs can begin.
If you or a loved one has sustained an injury caused by a defective product, you may be able to take legal action to recover financial compensation for your injuries and losses. An experienced, Nashville products liability attorney from our legal team at the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm will consult with you about your case and answer any questions you might have about your options and next steps.
At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we are here to help when our clients suffer serious injuries, or have lost loved ones due to defective products. We are experienced Tennessee defective auto products lawyers who know how to get the results you need. You may schedule your free consultation with a member of our team in Nashville, Hendersonville or Knoxville, by calling 615.246.5549 or filling out our contact form. Let our Gladiators in Suits fight for you!