Car That Killed Star Trek's Anton Yelchin Had Been Recalled for 'Rollaway' Risk

Yelchin, best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in sci-fi franchise, died when his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down and pinned him against a brick pillar and gate at his home.

 In this June 11, 2015, file photo, Anton Yelchin arrives at a special screening of "Burying the Ex" held at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre in Los Angeles.
Richard Shotwell / AP

The car involved in a freak accident that killed Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin on Sunday had been recalled earlier this year for a "rollaway" risk.

Yelchin, best known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the new Star Trek movies, died when his Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against a brick pillar and gate at his home in California.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) issued a voluntary recall on Jeep Grand Cherokees in April after some drivers were injured when they mistakenly thought they had shifted their car into park. Yelchin's vehicle was subject to the recall.

FCA had identified 212 crashes, 308 claims of property damage and 41 injuries related to the issue, according to its April 12 submission to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. At that time there had been no other fatal injuries with the vehicle attributed to the transmission design flaw.

Later in April FCA recalled 1.1 million vehicles to improve safety features for drivers who neglect to put their automatic transmission in the park mode.

Yelchin died of blunt force asphyxia after his body was pinned between the Jeep and the pillar and gate, Los Angeles police reported.

"It appears he had exited his car and was behind it when the vehicle rolled down a steep driveway," the LA police said in a statement quoted by news reports.

While FCA would not comment on the specifics of the accident, the company issued a statement which calls for more information before taking any additional action on the transmission confusion in the case.

The company expressed condolences to the family and friends of Yelchin in a statement quoted by US media.

"The company is in contact with the authorities and is conducting a thorough investigation," the statement said. "It is premature to speculate on the cause of this tragedy."