The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that the car that rolled into and killed Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin was a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a model that Fiat Chrysler recently recalled after its unconventional gear shifter led to several documented rollaway accidents.
Yelchin, 27, died in an unusual and horrifying incident early Sunday morning when his SUV—a Jeep Grand Cherokee—was left in neutral and apparently rolled down his driveway when he was outside of it, crushing him into a mailbox.
At the time it wasn’t clear whether Yelchin’s car was a 2014 or 2015 Grand Cherokee—the two model years covered by Fiat Chrysler’s voluntary shifter recall. But this morning, LAPD officials confirmed to Jalopnik that Yelchin’s SUV was a 2015 Grand Cherokee, meaning it was among the vehicles covered by Fiat Chrysler’s shifter recall from April.
The investigation into Yelchin’s death is ongoing and authorities have not determined the exact cause of the wreck, but this is almost certainly something they will be looking into.
Fiat Chrysler said in a recall notice that the shifter confusion had led to 41 injuries. Those injuries resulted from incidents like the following, which were reported on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s complaints database, emphasis ours.
THE CONTACT OWNS A 2015 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE. WHILE SHIFTING TO THE PARK POSITION, THE VEHICLE FAILED TO STOP AND CRASHED INTO A GARAGE DOOR.
OLIVE HILL, KY:
THE CONTACT OWNED A 2015 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE. WHILE PARKED IN A PARKING LOT, THE CONTACT’S VEHICLE ROLLED AWAY AND ANOTHER VEHICLE CRASHED INTO THE REAR OF THE CONTACT’S VEHICLE. THE VEHICLE WAS DESTROYED AND TOWED TO AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION. A POLICE REPORT WAS FILED AND THERE WERE NO INJURIES.
THE CONTACT OWNS A 2015 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE. WHILE THE ELECTRONIC SHIFTER WAS IN PARK, THE VEHICLE INDEPENDENTLY MOVED BACKWARDS AND STRUCK ANOTHER VEHICLE. THERE WERE NO INJURIES AND A POLICE REPORT WAS NOT FILED. THE VEHICLE WAS TAKEN TO THE MECHANIC WHO STATED THAT THE REAR PASSENGER SIDE BUMPER WAS DAMAGED AND NEEDED TO BE REPAIRED.
WAVERLY HALL, GA
VEHICLE WAS PUT IN PARK. I EXITED THE CAR. WIFE WAS SITTING IN CAR IN PASSENGER SEAT. CAR WAS NOT MOVING. WIFE EXITED CAR TO RETRIEVE ITEM FROM HOUSE. RETURNED TO FIND VEHICLE DOWN THE HILL AND IN THE WOODS.
BOWLING GREEN, KY
THE JEEP’S ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION DID NOT FULLY SHIFT IN TO THE “PARK” POSITION WHILE STILL RUNNING. MY WIFE EXITED THE VEHICLE TO TAKE OUR 3 YEAR OLD FROM THE BACK SEAT AND THE JEEP BEGAN TO ROLL AWAY. SHE RAN AND JUMPED IN TO THE DRIVER’S SEAT TO STOP IT AND IN THE PROCESS HER FOOT SLIPPED FROM THE BRAKE TO THE GAS PEDAL DRIVING THE CAR INTO/THROUGH A HOUSE. SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE WAS DONE TO THE VEHICLE AND THE HOME BUT NO ONE WAS INJURED.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA
PUT THE CAR IN PARK (ENGINE STILL RUNNING) TO GO OUT OF THE VEHICLE TO TALK TO SOMEONE. I TURNED AROUND AND THE CAR WAS ROLLING BACKWARDS. IT GAINED SPEED AS IT APPROACHED A HILL, CROSSED OVER A SIDEWALK AND SLAMMED INTO A TREE. I HAD 2 BIKES ON A BIKE RACK ON THE BACK, WHICH TOOK THE BRUNT OF THE CRASH. THE BIKES, THE BIKE RACK AND THE REAR OF THE CAR WERE CRUSHED. THERE WAS NO WARNING NOISE OR OTHER INDICATION THAT MY CAR HAD NOT GONE INTO PARK.
LOS ANGELES, CA
ELECTRONIC SHIFTER DOES NOT ENGAGE IN TO PARK. ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS THE CAR HAS STARTED TO ROLL WHEN I THOUGHT IT WAS IN PARK. THE SHIFTER IS TERRIBLY DANGERS AND CUMBERSOME TO USE CORRECTLY TO FIND GEARS. THIS IS ALWAYS WHEN PARKING OR WHEN STARTING UP. DANGEROUS.
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA
HE CONTACT OWNS A 2015 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE. WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS PARKED ON AN INCLINE, THE CONTACT STARTED THE VEHICLE AND IT ROLLED BACKWARDS IN REVERSE. THE CONTACT’S VEHICLE CRASHED INTO A PARKED VEHICLE. THERE WERE NO INJURIES AND A POLICE REPORT WAS NOT FILED.
The investigation into Yelchin’s death remains ongoing.
UPDATE: The LAPD has released a statement confirming that Yelchin’s death is being investigated as an accident. The full statement reads:
At this time, all indications appear to lead our investigators to believe this was a tragic accident. The investigation is ongoing so we have not made any final determination as to the cause of the accident only that it does appear to be accidental and not an intentional act.
The vehicle is a 2015 black Jeep Grand Cherokee. It appears that the vehicle rolled backward on the sloped driveway pinning the victim between the vehicle and a pillar.
As more information becomes available we will be glad to provide it.