FHTSA Investigation of FCA Electronic Gear Shifters Is Now an “Engineering Analysis”

In August 2015, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) announced that it had opened an investigation into the electronic gear shifters found in more than 400,000 Jeep Grand Cherokees from model years 2014 and 2015, after receiving Investigations Tab in a Filing Cabinetcomplaints from customers who claimed their vehicle continued to roll while in park.

The NHTSA has announced that it will upgrade its investigation to an “engineering analysis” of the electronic gear shifters found in 856,000 Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge vehicles. In addition to the 2014 and 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees already under investigation, the expanded probe will include:

  • 2012–2014 Dodge Chargers
  • 2012–2014 Chrysler 300 sedans

The NHTSA is concerned that the electronic gear shifters in question feature a confusing design that isn't intuitive, making it difficult for drivers to tell when they've successfully put their vehicle in drive, park, reverse, or neutral. The federal agency estimates that the design of the electronic gear shifters may have played a role in as many as 100 car accidents that caused more than a dozen injuries.

While the vehicles have not yet been recalled, that could change if the NHTSA determines that the design of the electronic gear shifters can be considered a defect. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is cooperating with the investigation, but there is speculation that they may claim that the shifter works as intended when used properly and is, thus, not defective.

Were You Injured in an Accident?

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a confusing gear shift design, you may be entitled to pursue compensation. Accident victims often recover financial awards for damages such as past or future medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident, property damage to the vehicle, lost wages or earning potential, and pain and suffering. Contact the knowledgeable legal team with Steinberg Injury Lawyers today for a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Our firm has been representing injured clients and their families since 1982—we have the experience and know-how you need when seeking compensation for an injury.

 

Peter Steinberg, Esq.
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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