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Fiat Chrysler speeds up recall after death of Star Trek actor

It turns out Chrysler might find itself in hot water, because what killed Anton Yelchin might have been a defect known to Chrysler that it hadn’t revealed to its customers.

Here is a link to the article:

I thought it was known, and Chrysler had issued a recall? Guess not. Lots of complaints about the crazy shifter.
Sad, regardless.

I think its a silly and non-intuitive design based on how we have driven cars for 50+ years, but still don’t know if I would call it a defect-just a stupid design. If you want a dial or push button fine, just don’t make it so you have to turn the dial three times to get it in park. So the fix is to put it in park if you open the door and the engine is running? Does that mean if its in neutral and you open the door, it’ll still be in neutral and roll down the driveway? Sometimes things are just so good that they should be left alone, like steering wheels, and stick shifts, and radio knobs.

I agree probably not a defect… But damn confusing. Kinda like Fords idea to activate the horn by pressing the directional switch in toward the steering wheel. Damn difficult to get use to.

the media has been reporting on this for at least the last few months

I believe the recall was supposed to go into effect later this year . . . ?

This recall was announced in May;

FCA will notify owners, and dealers will update the vehicle software to mitigate the risk of vehicle rollaway, free of charge. Owners were mailed interim notices on May 14, 2016. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts become available in August 2016. Owners may contact Chrysler customer service at 1-800-853-1403. Chrysler’s number for this recall is S27.

The CBS news article stated that the remedy was available but not announced;

On Wednesday, FCA said in a statement that it started providing its 2,427 dealers with a software update last week, days before Yelchin died.

Knowing this problem exists drivers should mind the shift indicator in the instrument cluster before releasing the brake or exiting the vehicle.

Even a car with a notched shifter has been known to roll away after someone exits while believing it’s firmly in PARK.

another idea . . . firmly engage the parking brake EVERY time before stepping out of the vehicle. Make sure that red “brake” symbol is lit before stepping out of the vehicle

it’s not the same thing as being in park position, but it’s another added safety measure, if you want to think of it like that

2015 Grand Cherokee owners manual;

Before leaving the vehicle, make sure that the parking
brake is fully applied and place the shift lever in the
PARK position.

Good luck with that crusade, people expect to be able to jump from one ride to the next without a thought as though they were at Disneyland.


I just said it’s a good idea

You’re the one who mentioned “that crusade”

I always set my parking brake. If somebody else is too preoccupied or whatever, that is THEIR problem, not mine

I wrote about this goofy design back in March when my wife was looking for a newer vehicle in the post called “A Complete Moron Designed The New Jeep Grand Cherokee Shifter.” I stand by my original statement. It’s a shame that people have to die when morons are free to foist their ideas on an unsuspecting public. I love my country but I sometimes hate that it’s a democracy.

@edb1961, I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with, especially since I didn’t take a stand on the issue. Please take notice of the phrase “might have been”.

I thought it was known, and Chrysler had issued a recall?

The recall until very recently consisted of getting the owners to come to the dealership for a lesson in how to use the shifter.

If you have to hold a masterclass on how to use a shifter, you designed the shifter wrong.

A shame this guy died. He was very talented. Because I’m a huge Star Trek nerd, I wasn’t a big fan of the reboot, but this guy and the one who played McCoy channeled the original actors astonishingly well.

and . . I can name a dozen other auto parts re-designs where those supposed ‘‘engineers’’ should be taken to the field out back and shot !

A better description of the problem:

CBS (surprise) goofed it up.

In my humble opinion, this is more an operator error or not understanding how it works more than a recall issue. If this is a matter of the vehicle being left/put in neutral, then every manual transmission car would have to be recalled, people are frequently leaving them in neutral and not applying the parking brake. But then why would anyone think a person should know/understand how to operate the cars they drive. After all there is always someone to sue.

Ordinarily I’d agree, @PvtPublic , but in this case, Chrysler made a system that feels like the old lever-based shifter, but behaves radically differently. If you’ve been using normal shifters for 40 years, and muscle memory takes over and you operate this one the same way you’ve been operating shifters for decades, it won’t go into park.

That’s dumb. Make it work like the old system, or make it radically different from the old system so that muscle memory cannot get people in trouble.

Shifting into park must be a real puzzle if a crew member of the USS Enterprise couldn’t get it right.

I agree that it is a stupid design. Drivers of manual transmission cars are used to a different routine and the automatic drivers to their own. This one is neither and I am not sure what this new design is supposed to achieve.

I have taught my teen driver to put the car in neutral 1st, apply e-brake and make sure the car is not rolling and then put it in Park. Now I have to teach all my family members that when they are around any newer Jeep, be mindful of them rolling on their own.

“Shifting into park must be a real puzzle if a crew member of the USS Enterprise couldn’t get it right.”

Very funny and tragic…all at the same time.