'Star Trek' Actor Anton Yelchin's Jeep May Have Been Among Those Recalled: Report
The death of Anton Yelchin, whose body was found pinned between his car and a brick mailbox in Los Angeles, may have been caused by a faulty mechanism on the vehicle that was the subject of a recall, according to reports.
Yelchin, 27, was reportedly crushed to death after he had gotten out of his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo Saturday night.
His body was found by friends who came to his home at about 1 a.m. Sunday after he failed to show up for a meeting.
His car was still running and was in neutral gear when Yelchin was found, but foul play was not suspected, police said
Fiat Chrysler recalled more than 800,000 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees, Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers that had “Monostable shifter or E-shift transmission,” according to a safety recall report filed in April.
“[T]he existing strategies built into these vehicles to deter drivers from exiting the vehicle after failing to put the transmission into PARK have not stopped some from doing so,” the report said, noting that drivers may believe their car had been put into park when it was actually in neutral, according to the report.
In doing so, they “may be struck by the vehicle and injured if they attempt to get out of the vehicle while the engine is running and the parking brake is not engaged,” the report added.
NHTSA records claim that 121 crashes and 41 injuries have been linked to the shifter, with, "possible [driver] confusion over whether the vehicle had actually been put into park."
The company told owners it hoped to come up with a "permanent" remedy by the fourth quarter, Reuters reported.
Investigators have not established that the transmission in Yelchin’s Jeep was connected to his death, but NHTSA documents obtained by TMZ note that a recall notice was sent to the actor.
The recall notice for Yelchin’s SUV was sent out on May 14, 2016, noting “drivers may inadvertently fail to achieve the PARK position before exiting,” TMZ reported.
Fiat Chrysler said on Monday it would probe the crash that killed Yelchin, with a spokesman telling Reuters that the company would conduct a "thorough investigation" of the incident. "It is premature to speculate on its cause at this time," he said.
He moved from Russia to the U.S. as a baby with his parents, who were both successful figure skaters.
After a brief stint at his parents’ profession, a young Yelchin began taking acting classes.
“I loved the improvisation part of it the most, because it was a lot like just playing around with stuff. There was something about it that I just felt completely comfortable doing and happy doing,” he said in a 2011 interview with The Associated Press.
Though his father wanted him to pursue a college degree, Yelchin’s passion was in acting.
"[My father] still wanted me to apply to college and stuff, and I did," Yelchin said. "But this is what I wanted.”
Yelchin’s family has requested privacy at this time.
Fiat Chrysler has not responded to InsideEdition.com’s request for comment.