Viktor and Irina Yelchin, the parents of actor Anton Yelchin, are set to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler on Tuesday, seeking unspecified damages in connection with the freak car accident that killed their son. Yelchin, 27, died at his California home on June 19 after his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway and pinned him between the vehicle and a brick pillar.
It later became clear that the vehicle was part of a recall issued by Fiat Chrysler for a malfunctioning gear shifter, which would make it appear that the vehicle was in park when it was actually still in neutral, leading to rollaway crashes. That appears to be what happened in Yelchin’s case, which is so far the only fatality associated with the recalled vehicles; the crash is still under investigation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there have been 266 accidents stemming from the gear shift issue, with 68 injuries reported. The Yelchins’ suit will also name retailer AutoNation and gear shift manufacturer ZF North America.
Yelchin’s parents aren’t the only ones who are suing Fiat Chrysler: A class-action lawsuit against the automaker in connection with the recalled vehicles has also been filed, alleging that the company “intentionally covered up a dangerously defective gear shifter in the vehicle.” That suit goes on to say that there was an “unreasonable delay in fixing the defect” on Fiat Chrysler’s part, “and its warning letter was obviously too little, too late for Mr. Yelchin, and nearly a million Defective Shifter Vehicles remain in unsuspecting owners’ driveways and garages.”
Despite the anger that the Yelchins are feeling now, the grieving parents have been vocal about their gratitude toward fans and the Hollywood community for their support after the actor’s untimely passing. Yelchin’s Star Trek family was also hit particularly hard by the star’s death, with director-producer J.J. Abrams recently pledging that the series will not recast Yelchin’s role of Pavel Chekov in future installments. Star Trek Beyond included a dedication to Yelchin’s memory.