The car that crushed Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin to death had been under recall over fears it could roll without warning. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in February that 2015 models of the Jeep Grand Cherokee - like Yelchin’s - could continue to move after drivers thought they had locked them in “park”, and linked the issue to more than 100 crashes. The Russian-born actor was discovered by friends pinned against a mailbox pillar and security fence by his Jeep early on Sunday. Investigators said the actor, 27, had got out of the vehicle before it rolled backwards down the steep driveway towards him.
It is premature to speculate on the cause of this tragedy.
Manufacturer Fiat Chrysler’s US unit issued a recall for hundreds of thousands of Jeep Grand Cherokees and other models in April to address the problem. However, FCA US said it had not found a permanent remedy and mainly advised owners to double check that their car was in “park” as intended. “Drivers thinking that their vehicle’s transmission is in the PARK position may be struck by the vehicle and injured if they attempt to get out … while the engine is running and the parking brake is not engaged,” the NHTSA said. Star Trek director JJ Abrams described Yelchin as “funny as hell and supremely talented”, while Star Trek co-star Zachary Quinto said the actor was “one of the most open and intellectually curious people” he knew.
One of the most curious, funny, sweet people I’ve ever known.
Susan Sarandon, who starred alongside Yelchin in Middle of Nowhere