Irina and Viktor Yelchin are filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Chrysler, the maker of the 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed their son, Star Trek Beyond and Charlie Bartlett actor Anton Yelchin, last month.
Yelchin was reportedly in his Los Angeles driveway when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee began to roll back without warning, eventually crushing and suffocating him against a brick pillar.
Yelchin’s model features an electronic gear shift that doesn’t make it clear to the driver what position the car is in. Rather than shift and lock in the corresponding position, the modular shifter stays locked in the same place between gears.
As it turns out, Chrysler and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) received numerous complaints about the unintuitive shift. According to Variety, the NHTSA was aware of 700 complaints, including 266 that involved accidents and 68 injuries.
In April, Chrysler issued a recall for 1.1 million of the vehicles. Yelchin reportedly received a safety notice in May and another announcing a fix seven days after his death.
At a press conference yesterday, Yelchin’s tearful parents spoke about pursuing action against Chrysler so their son’s fate wouldn’t be repeated.
“Yeah, he was very special,” said Irina during the press conference. “But now he’s very special because his life is going to save some other lives.”
According to CBS, Fiat-Chrysler has since released a statement, extending sympathies to the Yelchin family and warning drivers to check their owner’s manuals for proper safety precautions, like setting a parking brake. Ultimately, the company said it had not yet received a lawsuit and could not comment further.