March 22, 2018 / 8:35 PM / 6 months ago

Family of 'Star Trek' actor settles with Fiat Chrysler over fatal accident

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The family of late “Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV over the rollaway crash of a Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed the up-and-coming actor almost two years ago.

FILE PHOTO: Victor Yelchin and Irina Yelchina, parents of "Star Trek'' actor Anton Yelchin, who died when he was pinned by a rollaway Jeep Grand Cherokee in the driveway of his Studio City home, stand near a portrait of their late son during a news conference in Los Angeles, California, U.S. August 2, 2016. REUETRS/David McNew/File Photo

Terms of the settlement, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, were not disclosed.

The lawsuit filed by Yelchin’s parents, celebrated Russian figure skaters Victor and Irina Yelchin, is believed to be the first wrongful death complaint filed over Fiat Chrysler’s April 2016 recall of more than 1.1 million vehicles due to a roll away risk.

Yelchin, 27, best known for playing navigator Pavel Chekov in the “Star Trek” movie reboot, died in June 2016 when his 2015 Grand Cherokee rolled backward in the steep driveway of his Los Angeles home, pinning the actor against a brick wall and fence.

In a statement, Fiat Chrysler said on Thursday the company is “pleased that we’ve reached an amicable resolution in this matter. ... We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the Yelchin family for their tragic loss.”

Messages left with Yelchin family attorney Gary Dordick seeking comment were not immediately returned.

FILE PHOTO: Cast member Anton Yelchin poses during the photo call for the movie "Burying the ex" at the 71st Venice Film Festival September 4, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo/File Photo

Yelchin’s final role was in indie film “Thoroughbreds” that was released this month.

The lawsuit also accused Fiat Chrysler of negligence, product liability and breach of warranty.

Dordick said when he filed the lawsuit that Fiat Chrysler had mailed a recall letter to Yelchin that was received seven days after his death.

Final recall notices were sent during that time, but interim notices had been mailed at least 17 days before Yelchin’s accident, Fiat Chrysler said.

At the time of Yelchin’s death, the roll away problem had been tied to at least 68 injuries, 266 crashes and 308 reports of property damage.

Drivers complained they would exit vehicles with the engine running falsely believing the vehicle was in park.

Fiat Chrysler furnished a software upgrade to the affected 2014-2015 model year Jeep Grand Cherokee sport utility vehicle as well as 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans.

Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Sandra Maler

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