Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin’s untimely and horrific death earlier this summer came after his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled backwards and pinned him against his mailbox. Since the Jeep was found still running and in neutral, many immediately questioned whether the 27-year-old’s passing was a result of the confusing shifter selector, the impetus for a recall of 1.1 million Fiat-Chrysler vehicles last spring.
Yelchin’s parents, Irina and Viktor Yelchin, also came to that conclusion and filed a wrongful death lawsuit against FCA less than two months after their son’s death. Now, the Valencia, California, Chrysler dealership that sold Yelchin his Grand Cherokee claims that Yelchin’s death was his own fault.
According to TMZ, the dealer filed a response to the wrongful death suit, alleging a laundry list of reasons as to why Yelchin himself is to blame. In the documents, they state that the fatal accident was the result of Yelchin’s own “misuse, misapplication, or damage,” of his Jeep. While it’s not fully clear, the dealership appears to insinuate that the actor made some aftermarket changes that affected the vehicle. The dealership fired a further shot at Yelchin’s parents, saying they failed to preserve the SUV after the accident, leading to the compromise of critical evidence the case requires.
The dealer is asking presiding judge to dismiss them from the lawsuit.