Anton Yelchin died over the weekend at the way-too-young-age of 27 after his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his steep driveway and pinned him against his mailbox at the front gate of his home in Studio City, CA. It was a fucked-up freak accident. The only thing we knew was that his Jeep was in neutral when he was found dead. Well, yesterday, Gizmodo reported that 2014 to 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees (that were made between July 16, 2012, and December 22, 2015) were recalled because of a janky transmission issue.
The design of the electronic shifters in the vehicles affected in the recall make it hard for the driver to know what gear they’re in. So the driver could think they’re in park when their vehicle is really in neutral. The Grand Cherokee that killed Anton Yelchin was a 2015. USA Today said this about the mass recall back in April:
Fiat Chrysler says it is recalling 1.1 million vehicles worldwide, including 811,586 midsize SUVs and full-size cars in the U.S., to try to alleviate confusion about when the vehicles’ automatic transmission is in the “park” position, which has resulted in 41 injuries.
Drivers have been getting out of the vehicles without shifting into park while the engine is still running. The problem involves vehicles with electronic shift levers on their consoles that spring back to the same position after being shifted. Drivers can’t tell by looking at the shifter’s position whether it is in park. Instead, they have to depend on indicator lights, Fiat Chrysler says.
A rep for the LAPD tells People that the investigation into Anton’s death is brand new and they’re going to look into the recall. But of course, the Detective La Toya-trained investigators at TMZ are already on it. They say that Anton’s Grand Cherokee was tagged for a recall last month and the notice was sent out on May 14, 2016. They’re hearing that Fiat Chrysler barely released a software fix for the transmission issue. Some Jeep dealerships got the fix just last week. All of the Jeep dealerships will have it by August. Anton’s Jeep was never taken in, so it never got the fix.
Who knows if Anton ever opened up that recall notice. Maybe he was out of town and never got to it. Or if he’s anything like my me while tackling a stack of mail after getting back from a trip, then he tosses all the boring shit (bills, bills, anything that requires a lot of reading, bills and bills) and goes straight to the furniture catalogs and Krispy Kreme coupons.
The Los Angeles Times also reported the cause of Anton’s death. If you ask Lindsay “Why Bother Reading The Articles” Lohan, Anton’s cause of death was “Hollywood.” But investigators with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office say that his death “was an accident caused by blunt traumatic asphyxia.” That is beyond awful. I was going to say that if you need me I’ll be typing the words “puppies salsa dancing” in YouTube’s search box, but I have a feeling you’ll be doing the exact same thing.