And in late May, Fiat Chrysler sent out this information on the timing of a technical fix:

“The timing to develop the software updates required to remedy this situation has been accelerated. FCA now anticipates having the software updates required to remedy the above vehicles no later than July/August of 2016.

“The software updates required to remedy this situation are presently not available. An interim letter was mailed to all involved customer stating “FCA is working to finalize a remedy by the 4th quarter of 2016.””


It’s also worth noting that Fiat Chrysler isn’t the only company that has used this type of shifter. The Audi A8's shifter, for example, is a similar design, though Audi says it has a safety mechanism that activates the electronic park brake if the driver tries to exit with the car in gear. Fiat Chrysler’s vehicles covered by the recall have mechanical foot-operated park brakes, so there is no such safety feature in place.

Clearly, it’s a design with some issues, especially since the newer Jeep Grand Cherokees use an entirely different shifter. But time will tell if it had anything to do with this young actor’s death.


Note: In the video at 02:31, I accidentally said “neutral” where I meant “reverse.”