SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A leading automotive consumer-rights law firm, Hagens Berman, is investigating a serious design defect in the gear shifter of certain Fiat Chrysler cars which can cause the cars to roll away without a driver, resulting in injuries, accidents and other serious unintended consequences.
2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2012-2014 Chrysler 300 and 2012-2014 Dodge Charger are equipped with the defectively designed gear shifter. The defect that has been responsible for at least 41 injuries has been in the headlines recently, following the death of actor Anton Yelchin, who was killed in his own driveway when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his driveway and pinned him against his brick mailbox.
If you own or lease a 2014 - 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, or 2012 - 2014 Chrysler 300 or Dodge Charger and have experienced the rollaway defect, you may be entitled to compensation. Find out more about the investigation.
Hagens Berman’s automotive litigation team is one of the most successful in fighting for consumers’ rights and achieved the largest automotive settlement in U.S. history - $1.6 billion against Toyota. The firm also represents consumers as a member of the court-appointed Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the Dieselgate case against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, and is lead counsel in a similar case brought against Mercedes for using “defeat device” software to cheat emissions tests.
“Clearly the design of the shifter in these affected Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles is far from safe,” said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman. “Fiat Chrysler’s competitors, like BMW, which use a similar shifter, have safety overrides in place that automatically put the car in ‘park’ when the driver’s door is opened and pressure taken off the foot brake. There is no good reason why these cars should have been sold without such an override. Consumers deserve better from auto makers, and we intend to make this right.”
The defect is rooted in the vehicles' ZF eight-speed electronic shifters, which provide insufficient feedback to the driver to indicate whether the car has been placed in “park” and do not have a safety override that automatically puts the car in “park” when the driver gets out. Rollaways of vehicles inadvertently left out of “park” have reportedly caused hundreds of crashes, dozens of injuries and a fatality.
While Fiat Chrysler has initiated a recall of 1.1 million cars worldwide equipped with the defectively designed shifter, it has yet to provide any fix, instead merely sending a letter to registered owners describing the defect. Hagens Berman believes this was too little too late for dozens who have been injured as a result of the defect.
“Fifty years ago, Ralph Nader described the Chevy Corvair as ‘unsafe at any speed,’ but these cars are unsafe in any driveway,” Berman added.
Learn more about the rollaway defect affecting Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger vehicles.
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP is a consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities. The firm has been named to the National Law Journal’s Plaintiffs’ Hot List eight times. More about the law firm and its successes can be found at www.hbsslaw.com. Follow the firm for updates and news at @ClassActionLaw.