LOS ANGELES – The parents of “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against the makers of Jeep Grand Cherokees, claiming the company manufactured unsafe gear selectors that led to their 27-year-old son being crushed in his own driveway.
Fiat Chrysler extended its sympathies to Yelchin’s parents but said it could not comment on the lawsuit because it had not yet been served with the legal action.
Fiat Chrysler has said it is speeding its recall of the vehicle.
Both the company and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have urged drivers of vehicles subject to the recall to set their parking brakes before getting out of their SUV. The suit does not say how much Yelchin’s parents are seeking in damages, but their attorney, Gary A. Dordick, said they want the company to be punished and hope the lawsuit changes its business practices.
Anton Yelchin was sent an initial safety recall notice in May, and another notice was sent to the actor seven days after he died, notifying him that the company had a fix for the gear shifter, Dordick said.
The lawsuit says Yelchin’s SUV did not engage or maintain its “Park” setting, and that led to the vehicle moving and crushing the actor.