The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that rolled down a driveway and killed actor Anton Yelchin this weekend had been recalled earlier this spring after federal regulators found that its gear shifting could confuse drivers and possibly cause vehicles to roll away.
It’s a horrific accident that illustrates the danger of automobiles and the importance of quickly addressing recall notices.
We don’t know the specifics of Yelchin’s case. Maybe he never received the notice or maybe he recently purchased the car and didn’t know about the recall. It’s also possible that the notice got thrown out with the junk mail.
The consequences were undeniably tragic and sad.
Automotive recalls are issued regularly and have become an expected part of car ownership, but vehicle owners need to remain as vigilant in checking for them as automakers are in issuing them.
Recalls in 2015 hit an all-time record. Automakers recalled a record 51.2 million vehicles over 868 separate recalls last year as regulators cracked down on safety defects and automakers became more vigilant about reporting problems.
Last year’s recalls included the Takata airbag explosions, which, so far, has included 28.8 million airbags in the U.S.
The FCA recall, which included Yeltsin’s Jeep, also includes the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 vehicles manufactured between February 15, 2011 and November 27, 2014. Affected Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles were manufactured between July 16, 2012 and December 22, 2015.
Notices sent out in May of this year informed owners of the problem and advised them to always apply the parking brake before exiting the vehicle. If you own a Charger, 300, or Grand Cherokee, take extra time to verify the vehicle is in park and that the brake is applied. A second notice is expected to be sent later this summer when FCA has remedy parts available.
It’s also a good idea to check the NHTSA’s database every couple of months for new recalls that might affect your vehicle. Simply enter your VIN and the website will pull up active recalls and inform you of any action that needs to be taken.
Have you checked for recalls on your car recently?