Electronic Gear Shifts are Hazardous

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Monostable electronic shifter or E-shift is found in Jeep, Dodge, and Chrysler. It lacks the typical grooves of the shifter when moving the car into park, drive or reverse. The shifter returns to its default position without giving drivers sufficient feedback as to the selected gear. Hundreds of people have filed complaints saying their vehicle rolled away after thinking it was in park.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) opened an investigation into the shifter design in 2015 due to its defective design. Their investigation involves 3.6-liter V6-powered 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees, 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers and 2012-2014 Chrysler 300s–all of which use a push-button console shift lever that looks like a traditional PRNDL shifter.

The NHTSA has received reports of 314 roll-away incidents, involving 121 crashes and 30 injuries, caused when drivers exited their vehicle after they shifted into Park. Jeep Grand Cherokee’s E-shift is the suspected cause of the recent death of actor Anton Yelchin.

Fiat Chrysler has recalled some 1.1 million vehicles, including Jeep Grand Cherokees. Jeep has since changed that design. Software is being added to prevent vehicles from moving under certain conditions.

Weisfuse & Weisfuse represents victims of negligent product design. Call us at (212) 983-3000 for a free consultation.

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