‘Star Trek’ Actor's Death Could Be Linked To Recalled Jeep

The actor was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a reinforced mailbox.

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Fiat Chrysler's recall of more than a million vehicles this spring is back in the news after a Jeep SUV was involved in the death of 'Star Trek' actor Anton Yelchin over the weekend.

Yelchin, 27, was killed early Sunday when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a reinforced mailbox.

The 2015 Grand Cherokee was one of several models recalled by Fiat Chrysler over concerns that drivers could accidentally leave them in gear rather than in "park" — which could raise the risk of rollaway accidents.

Authorities said that it was too early to determine a cause of Sunday's accident, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that Yelchin's death is the first "we’re aware of that may be related to this safety defect and vehicle recall.”

(Image credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)(Image credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

FCA said in April that it knew of 41 injuries potentially related to the issue.

The models involved in the recall — the 2014-2015 Grand Cherokee and the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 — feature "E-shift" systems that require drivers to push a lever three times to put the car in "park."

Although the vehicles chime and show a warning light if the driver's side door opens while in gear, the engine remains on and drivers may inadvertently exit their car without placing it in "park."

(Image credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)(Image credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

It's unclear whether Yelchin was aware of the problem.

The automaker said at the time of the recall that it planned to bolster the warning system on recalled vehicles and adjust them to ensure that they don't move if the driver exits.

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