NHTSA discovers 266 crashes, 68 injuries linked to FCA’s confusing gear selector

Things for Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles really haven’t been going well after the death of a celebrity allegedly caused by a recalled vehicle completely blew the company up in the media world, highlighting an issue with some transmission gear selectors in a wide variety of cars.

The issue stems from a potentially confusing gear selector for the ZF-equipped cars, causing owners to accidentally leave their car in Neutral instead of Park. There was also an emphasis on the lack of fail-safes in place to remind drivers to put the cars in park. On other equipped ZF cars, like BMWs, the car will automatically shift into park if it senses the car door is still open.

On select FCA cars, not so much.

The list of the shunned

  • 2012-2014 Chrysler 300 Sedans
  • 2012-2014 Dodge Charger Sedans
  • 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees

After beginning an investigation in February of this year, Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles reached a conclusion, recalling some 1.1 million vehicles worldwide for these confusing gear selectors. It was just earlier today that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded their investigation, to find a total of 686 complaints filed, with 266 crashes and 68 injuries stemming from the gear selectors. One of them was death of Star Trek reboot star, Anton Yelchin, who was killed by his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee when it rolled against him, pinning him against a fence.

In the US, a total of 41 of those 68 worldwide injuries were in the US.

There’s also a pending class-action lawsuit against FCA, alleging the company was aware of the confusing shifter.

More recently, other FCA products were recalled for similar confusing shifters for nearly all 2014 Quattroporte and Ghibli models, about 13,092 units. No injuries or accidents with Maserati have been reported.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: The Associated Press; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 


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