By on September 22, 2016

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Exterior-004

With so many class action lawsuits leveled against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over their troublesome Monostable shift lever, coordinating all of them has become a problem.

According to The National Law Journal, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi­district Litigation will meet on September 29 to figure out how to juggle all of the lawsuits. Just in the past week, FCA has been hit with two more suits from people claiming they were injured while trying to stop their vehicles from rolling away.

The risk posed by the rollaway of certain FCA products became clear after the death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin last June. After two years of complaints, FCA recalled a total of 1.1 million Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler vehicles in April to address the issue. About 811,000 of them are registered in the U.S.

The National Law Journal reports that the latest suits were filed in federal courts in New Hampshire and Virginia. Already, FCA faces about a dozen class action suits. The litigants in the most recent suits, like many of the others, claim their vehicle rolled over them as they tried to stop its unpiloted movements. Both vehicles were 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokees, the same model that Yelchin drove (though his was a 2015 model).

A very familiar law firm is handling those cases.

“Where the serious injuries are happening is when people get in the car and try to wrestle it to a stop,” Steve Berman, managing partner of Seattle’s Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, told the publication. His firm filed the new suits along with Bailey & Glasser.

FCA claims the recall has turned many of the suits into moot points. Referring to suits seeking compensation for lowered resale values, FCA spokesperson Michael Falese told NLJ, “Allegations that their resale value is somehow diminished by a recall are completely unsubstantiated.”

In addition to the varied suits, FCA faces a wrongful death lawsuit from Yelchin’s parents.

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11 Comments on “More Litigants Claiming ‘Rollover’ Injuries Join Parade of Fiat Chrysler Rollaway Lawsuits...”

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    ‘… FCA spokesperson Michael Falese told NLJ, “Allegations that their resale value is somehow diminished by a recall are completely unsubstantiated.”’

    Ha, yes. Based on what I’ve seen, resale values of the Grand Cherokee are quite strong (making them outliers within the FCA brands). Even with Yelchin’s death (which we still do not know was caused by the shifter design) the issue doesn’t seem to have garnered the same outrage as other high-profile recalls, like GM’s ignition woes of 2014.

  • avatar

    Aren’t there other vehicles that run this same type of set up? Is Jeep the only one facing such lawsuits (and are they popping up more and more because of the “Yelchin Effect?”)?

  • avatar

    I wonder what brainiac manager pushed for this change, from the universally acceptable PRNDL arrangement that’s been around since dirt was young, to this shiny knob setup that’s unknown to all unless you’re a gearhead and read the glovebox owners manual.

  • avatar

    If you use the parking brake (and you should), this is irrelevant. A guy I used to know left his Chrysler minivan on a hill in Park without the parking brake. He broke off the park pawl yanking on the shift lever to get it out of Park. He was pissed that Chrysler wouldn’t fix the transmission under warranty.

  • avatar

    It sickens me that people are blaming the shifter for their carelessness. Is it the best design? Maybe not…..but that doesn’t excuse people from taking the 5 seconds required to make sure it’s in park. Then again again the same people suing are likely the same ones twittering at 85 mph on the highway about how everyone else is such a terrible driver.

  • avatar

    This kind of news bring me to “I do not want to live on this planet anymore” level. Maybe FCA is not used to be pursued for such things, since every European court would laugh at any suits such as “I did not put my car in park mode because the shifter is unclear, so I have to be refunded”.
    I perfectly understand that US common law is completely different than civil law one used in most of the EU, but I honestly think things went a bit too far since they had to put labels on coffee cups with “caution: hot” written on them …

    • 0 avatar

      “I do not want to live on this planet anymore”

      Don’t blane the planet for the behavior of its parasites.

      However, I *would* appreciate a softer, more diffuse light source. I mean, c’mon Dog, we struggling, distractable humans invented softboxes 100 years ago. Surely with all the resources of the physical universe at Your disposal You could have done better than a single blinding spotlight.

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