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Fiat Chrysler Held Liable for Death Linked to Recent Recall


Recall notices for motor vehicles are designed to warn owners about the potential dangers their vehicles pose and encourage them to take action so as to avoid an accident from occurring. But if recall notices aren't sent out in a timely manner, accidents are bound to happen, which may include unnecessary injuries and even deaths.

This was the case for 27-year-old actor Anton Yelchin, best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the new 'Star Trek' movies. He was killed in June when a transmission gear-sector design defect caused his 2015 Grand Cherokee to roll backward down his steep driveway, crushing him in the processes, describes a recent Reuters article.

Yelchin's family is taking legal action

Despite their grief, the parents of the late Anton Yelchin are taking legal action against Fiat Chrysler, the maker of Yelchin's 2015 Grand Cherokee. In their 18-page products liability lawsuit that was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court recently, Yelchin's parents are seeking compensation for their son's death, which is the first linked to the vehicle defect since the recall was announced in April.

Although they are still grieving their son's death, Yelchin's parents hope their lawsuit will prevent additional families from experiencing the same loss of a loved one.

The importance of issuing timely recalls

Perhaps the biggest tragedy of this case is the fact that Yelchin's death might have been avoided had be received the recall notice for his vehicle in a timely manner. According to reports, it wasn't until seven days after his death that a recall notice arrived, warning him of the danger the defect posed.

Even though manufacturers are not given a defined timeframe in which to issue recall notices, companies are expected by the Food and Drug Administration to send out recall communications "in the most expeditious manner and commensurate with the hard of the product being recalled." One might argue that the late delivery of Yelchin's notice indicates that Fiat Chrysler did not meet these guidelines, which further substantiates the lawsuit's negligence claim.

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