The parents of late actor Anton Yelchin are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler over their son’s death in a roll-away accident involving his recalled Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Yelchin, the 27-year-old best known for his role as Chekov in the Star Trek franchise reboot, died in June when his Grand Cherokee rolled backwards down his driveway and crushed him to death. Friends discovered his body after he missed a rehearsal.
According to the Associated Press, an attorney for the family says the actor received a second recall notice for his Jeep seven days after his death. An initial notice was mailed in May. The second notice notified Yelchin that the automaker had a fix for the gear shift, the cause of numerous roll-aways.
“The safety recall was way too little and way too late,” attorney Gary Dordick said at a press conference in Beverly Hills. “They should have never used this device.”
Yelchin’s SUV is part of a large recall over a gear shift design flaw. The gear shift, which operates like a joystick, has confused drivers who think their vehicle is in park when it’s not. A government investigation linked 266 crashes and 68 injuries to the poorly designed gear shifter as of late June. Yelchin’s death is the first linked to the gear shift.
Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.1 million vehicles in April to address the issue. Since Yelchin’s death, the automaker has said it is speeding up the recall process.
In a statement, Fiat Chrysler said it had yet to be served with the lawsuit so can’t comment about it at this time.
Yelchin’s parents are also suing ZF North America, which manufactured the gear shift.
The Yelchins became administrators of their son’s $1.4 million estate on Friday. The Russian-born actor immigrated to the U.S. with his parents when he was a baby. His parents were stars of the Leningrad Ice Ballet.