Fiat Chrysler takes the heat for design defect.
Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin was killed recently when his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee tragically rolled down his driveway and crushed him. His particular car is notable because Jeep has recalled more than 1 million vehicles for a rollaway problem related to the gear shifter. There have also been many other injuries that have occurred allegedly because of the faulty shifter knob in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
In June a class-action lawsuit was filed against Fiat Chrysler in California over the shifter design. The lawsuit claims that Fiat Chrysler fraudulently concealed and failed to remedy a gear shifter design defect.
To be successful in a case like this the plaintiff will have to prove that Fiat Chrysler knowingly made a false representations of a material fact with the intent to mislead the damaged party. In Virginia, evidence that the defendant conducted a mandatory recall is admissible to show that the product was defective and the defendant had knowledge of the defect. Another important piece of evidence in this kind of lawsuit can be how other car manufacturers with similar gear shifters designed their product. For example in this instance, car manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz and BMW will automatically engage the emergency brake if someone gets out of the car while still in drive or reverse. Evidence that Jeep did not conform to industry standards is important because it provides evidence that the car was unreasonably dangerous.