Yelchin Family Reaches Settlement with FCA Over Fatal Accident

Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles says the two parties have ‘reached an amicable resolution’ on the matter of the Star Trek actor’s untimely death.

byEric Brandt| UPDATED Jun 18, 2019 6:52 AM

Russian-born actor Anton Yelchin, most famous for his portrayal of  Pavel Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek films, was tragically killed in 2016 when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a brick pillar. His family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles blaming the now infamous “mushroom” shifter of the ZF automatic transmission for not clearly indicating whether the vehicle was in park when Yelchin got out, resulting in his death at the age of 27.

Reuters reports that a settlement has been reached between Yelchin’s family and FCA in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, but details on the settlement are unclear. Fiat Chrysler said it's “pleased that we've reached an amicable resolution in this matter. ... We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the Yelchin family for their tragic loss,” according to a statement.

This faulty shifter was the subject of an April 2016 recall of more than 1.1 million vehicles for the exact problem with Yelchin’s Jeep: Potential rollaway risk. Yelchin’s death is believed to be the first wrongful death complaint filed in regards to the bad shifter, but it had previously been associated with at least 68 injuries, 266 crashes, and 308 reports of property damage, according to Reuters.

FCA’s solution to the problem was a software upgrade for the 2014 and 2015 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2012 through 2014 model year Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s. For obvious reasons, FCA has since switched to a different type of shifter for these vehicles.