The death of a young Hollywood celebrity is typically surrounded by strange circumstances. But in the case of Anton Yelchin, the young man known for movies like Alpha Dog and Star Trek, the public was beyond stunned to discover the cause of his death. The 27-year-old actor was killed when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down his sloped driveway and pinned him against a brick pillar and metal security gate, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. No drugs. No bad guys. No questionable behavior. Just, perhaps, an auto recall that had not yet been fixed, with fatal results.
Know the Risks of Avoiding Recall Repairs
Who doesn’t groan when receiving a notification from their auto manufacturer describing a recall for their vehicle? Schedules have to be rearranged – from work to babysitters – to figure out how to get your vehicle to the dealership for a service appointment to take care of a recall. It’s not unusual for car owners to take their time getting repairs completed. And dealerships don’t help matters by issuing notifications before the parts needed for repair are available for the vehicle in question.
In the case of Yelchin’s vehicle, his car was one of 811,586 autos that were recalled by Fiat Chrysler earlier this year for a confusing gear-shift lever. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that some drivers were exiting their vehicles without successfully putting them in park – it is still unknown whether Yelchin’s car had undergone the repair. But it’s safe to say that there are plenty of vehicles out there that have not yet undergone their recall repairs, vehicles from Chrysler as well as other auto manufacturers.CarFax reports that over 47 million registered cars in the United States currently have at least one unfixed recall.
The confusing gear shift recall from Chrysler included mention of over 40 injuries that may have been related to the issue, though Yelchin is likely the first fatality. And, hopefully, the last.
Take All Auto Recalls Seriously
Auto recalls aren’t issued to be an annoyance to car owners. They are issued to protect drivers of the recalled vehicle and all other drivers on the road from avoidable car crashes, injuries, and fatalities. All car recalls should be taken seriously and considered an important issue that must be fixed as soon as possible so the car is in the best possible operating condition to be on the roads.
If you receive a recall for your vehicle, or hear a news report about recalls for your particular brand of vehicle, keep the following in mind:
• Contact any dealership that sells your brand of car to schedule the recall repair. You don’t need to go to the dealership where you purchased your vehicle. By law, all dealerships that carry your brand of vehicle are required to make the recall repair at no charge.
• If you have a used car, check the recall status. Enter the car’s VIN on the automaker’s website or at SaferCar.gov to find out whether recalls for the vehicle have been completed yet.
• Before you purchase a used car, run a recall check on your own. Independent car dealers and individuals who sell their cars are not required to complete recall repairs before the sale of the car is completed. And checking yourself ensures that you get the whole story about the vehicle you’re interested in purchasing.