Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 at 4:39 pm
Accidents injuring hundreds of Americans have been caused by a park to reverse defect for which one automaker issued a recent recall. Also called “false park,” such defects may have led to the recent death of acclaimed Star Trek star Anton Yelchin and also have led to other accidents dating back to the 1960s.
Defining Park to Reverse Defect
Defining a park to reverse defect depends on the vehicle and the era. Such defects have caused problems in Ford, Chrysler, General Motors and other autos dating back to the 1960s. A different form of defect causing park to reverse accidents also exists in recent models of Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 vehicles.
Detent False Park Defects
False park defects first arose decades ago after a detent system was developed to avoid the safety problem of drivers inadvertently placing a shift selector between intended gears — a placement which could damage transmissions or lead to inadvertent shifts in gears.
A detent is a mechanical “catch” to prevent motion. The detent system employed either a cantilever spring or a detent spring and ball moving over a “rooster comb” series of toothed gears and into a specified place. But if the spring was too weak to place the rooster comb at the bottom of the trough between the teeth, the vehicle could be accidentally left between gears.
The problem was compounded on some vehicles which had a flat area between “reverse” and “park” where the ball could rest in what was known as a “false park.” When slightly jarred, vehicles then could suddenly shift from the intended gear of park to reverse.
By 1980 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received a minimum of 23,000 complaints involving such transmission slippages in Ford vehicles, resulting in about 6,000 crashes.
But other automakers also had problems, including GM and Chrysler. However, the NHTSA found 14 times higher complaints against Ford transmissions as opposed to Chrysler and 12 times more complaints against Ford transmissions than those of General Motors.
The NHTSA then investigated park to reverse detent defects in 1966-79 Ford vehicles, later revising its targets to start in 1972 due to statutes of limitations. However, no massive Ford detent recall was demanded, and such problems remain today.
Electronic Gear Shift Defects
More recently, electronic gear shift defects have been found in hundreds of thousands of vehicles produced by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Their new electronic gear shifters were designed and manufactured by German company ZF Friedrichshafen AG and placed in 2012 to 2014 models of Dodge Chargers and Chrysler 300s and in 2014 to 2015 models of Jeep Grand Cherokees.
Such electronic gear shifts do not allow a driver to physically place a car in park, reverse, drive or neutral in a physical sense, as drivers have done for many decades. Instead, a slight shift of a handle which always returns to the same spot sends an electronic signal to the transmission to shift gears.
This process is rife with gear shift defects, including:
- Not accounting for driver expectations, conditioning and unfamiliarity with the new electronic gear shifter
- Not clearly indicating whether a vehicle is in park or neutral when a driver may believe it is in park
- Failing to properly shift into the proper gear and then self-shifting after a driver has exited
- Lacking a safety override or fail-safe element to automatically put a vehicle in park if it’s left in drive and a driver’s door is opened and no pressure is on the brake
- Lacking efficient alarm sounds or signals to alert a driver when a vehicle is not in the proper gear upon exiting
- Not accounting for today’s almost silent engines which make it difficult for drivers to know if an engine is running upon exiting a vehicle
- Having a gear shift procedure for placing a vehicle in park that’s nearly identical to placing it in reverse
- Having a delayed reaction of at least several seconds for a park to reverse defect, meaning a driver may have time to be halfway out the door or standing near a vehicle when it suddenly starts moving on its own.
Any of these gear shift defects can lead to an accident in which drivers or passengers are injured by a vehicle which suddenly moves backward or even forward on its own power without a driver’s attention.
Park to Reverse Recall
After reportedly keeping such information from consumers while it sold more vehicles, Fiat Chrysler finally issued a park to reverse recall of more than 1.1 million vehicles upon being exhorted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in April, 2016.
More than 800,000 of the vehicles with defective gear shifts are in the United States. They include the aforementioned Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger vehicles, as well as about 13,000 Maseratis.
The NHTSA had gotten hundreds of complaints from consumers owning such vehicles, including complaints of 17 crashes and 28 injuries. It also noted more than 300 incidents of park to reverse defects involving Jeep Grand Cherokees alone. The NHTSA investigation then led to Fiat Chrysler’s “voluntary” recall, which might not have occurred without NHTSA influence.
For the park to reverse defect recall, Fiat Chrysler first alerted consumers to a problem in April, 2016, but noted that a fix was not yet available. Then in late June, 2016 it sent owners another letter, this time stating clearly that their vehicle was defective and instructing them to take it to a deal for repairs, which would involve installing new software which had become available.
Such a notice arrived at the home of Yelchin one week after he was killed when his parked Jeep Grand Cherokee suddenly rolled backward and crushed him against a security gate in his Los Angeles driveway.
Park to Reverse Defect Lawsuits
The parents of Yelchin as well as many others have filed park to reverse defect lawsuits against FCA to claim compensation for their losses or to press for punitive damages against the automaker.Other plaintiffs have filed lawsuits against automakers for defective detent gear shift systems.
Some such gear shift lawsuits have been settled for millions of dollars in favor of plaintiffs. However, park to reverse defects remain on thousands of vehicles not yet repaired.
Talk a Park to Reverse Injury Attorney – Free Lawsuit Consultation
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or a loved one killed as a result of a park to reverse accident, then call and talk to a Board Certified Trial Attorney about your park to reverse accident. All consultations are totally confidential. All cases are taken on a Contingency Fee Basis. That means No Attorney Fees or Expenses Charged to You, Unless You Win.
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Thursday, August 6th, 2015 at 8:02 pm
An 18-year-old Springville passenger is in critical condition after the car she was a passenger in lost control and rolled over several times into Hobble Creek Canyon on July 19, Fox 13 reported.
According to witnesses, a 16-year-old driver was managing a curve at approximately 30 mph when she suddenly lost control of the car, veered off the road edge, and rolled over many times before finally coming to a halt 100 feet below the roadway.
The 18-year-old passenger, who was thrown out of the vehicle, was rushed to the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for six broken ribs, multiple spinal injuries, and multiple pelvic fractures. The 16-year-old driver, meanwhile, suffered from minor injuries.
Rollover accidents happen for a multitude of different reasons, such as recklessness, poor road conditions, and defective car components. At the Auto Defects, we help victims of injurious rollover incidents hold the offending parties responsible for the injuries you sustained. Call us at today and have your case assessed for free.
Friday, July 17th, 2015 at 3:27 pm
A 72-year-old passenger sustained serious injuries in a single vehicle rollover crash that happened on Interstate 95 in Warwick on July 5, according to a report by the NBC 10 News.
Rhode Island state police said a 42-year-old driver was trying to change lanes on I-95 when he suddenly lost control of his car. The car tipped over before hitting a road barrier. His 72-year-old father sustained critical injuries after being ejected from the car and into the interstate’s northbound lanes.
The driver and his father were transported to Rhode Island Hospital for treatment. Three other occupants were also treated before being released.
Rollover accidents are serious and often injurious, especially if they happen on a fast-moving highway. Unfortunately, a faulty car component can sometimes be responsible for such an injurious crash. To learn more about taking legal action after being harmed in a rollover accident caused by a car defect, speak with our team at the Auto Defects by calling today.
Wednesday, July 8th, 2015 at 4:23 pm
A father and his two sons were injured after a truck rollover crash that happened on Highway 99 north of Laredo Highway, Kern Golden Empire reported on June 21.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the driver and his two sons were traveling on the highway at around 3:15 p.m. when the truck they were occupying overturned until it came to rest in an orchard. The father suffered moderate injuries, while his adult son suffered from a broken arm. Meanwhile, the father’s 16-year-old son suffered from mild injuries.
The CHP reminded everyone to drive safely on the road, especially during the holidays.
Dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial burdens of a rollover incident can be taxing. However, you don’t have to deal with this traumatic experience alone. The legal team at the Auto Defects can discuss with you your options for seeking compensation through a lawsuit. Call us at today to learn more about how to hold the responsible party accountable for your losses.
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 7:47 pm
One person was hospitalized after a rollover accident on Westfield Road, according to MassLive on June 8.
The accident occurred near Apremont Highway just before 11:00 a.m. Holyoke Fire Department spokesman Capt. Anthony Cerruti said the female accident victim’s SUV swerved off-road and hit an electric pole before rolling over. A crew from Holyoke Gas and Electric needed to remove the utility lines that touched the vehicle. The women was extricated after firefighters used Jaws of Life. She was then transported to Holyoke Medical Center by an ambulance in an unknown condition, although she was seen conscious when rushed out of the scene.
Rollovers like this happen for a variety of reasons – defective car components, tire blowouts, distracted driving. In cases where an injurious rollover crash was the fault of another party, a lawyer at the Auto Defects can look into your situation to see if it qualifies you to file a personal injury claim. Call us at for a free case assessment today.
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 at 4:23 pm
A single vehicle rollover accident that happened in Preble town of Cortland County claimed the lives of two teenagers, Andrea Czimmer and Alexis Porter, WBNG Binghamton reported on May 23.
According to the report, 17-year-old Czimmer was driving along I-81 at 7:32 p.m. when she lost control of the car. The vehicle hit center median, causing it to roll over several times. The driver suffered from head and neck trauma and died on the scene. The other occupant, 17-year-old Porter, was rushed to the hospital after being ejected from the vehicle, but was later pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, a third occupant, 18-year-old Michael Conlon, was brought to a hospital after sustaining rib and other internal injuries. He is listed in stable condition.
Authorities are still investigating the incident.
The legal team at the Auto Defects extends their deepest thoughts to the friends and family who have lost their loved ones in this tragic accident.
Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 at 2:00 pm
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is recalling no less than 130,000 of its newer vehicles manufactured from 2009 to 2011 due to two separate issues that may compromise visibility and cause damaging collisions, Nasdaq reported on May 9.
The first recall involves 76,958 vehicles with a faulty blower motor, which might not defrost the windshield adequately. The automotive company said it would notify all the affected consumers for a free motor replacement, although no notification schedule has been provided yet.
The second recall involves 53,396 cars with faulty control units that manage the head and tail lights, as well as the windshield wiper. Although a notification schedule has yet to be announced, Mitsubishi said they are willing to replace the faulty electronic control unit free of charge.
Frosted windshields and malfunctioning head lights are among the many possible causes of poor road visibility that may lead to injurious rollover accidents. To learn more about taking legal action after being hurt in a rollover crash caused by a defective car component, consult with our team of rollover attorneys at the Auto Defects by calling today.
Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 at 9:09 pm
Yamaha is recalling 3,500 of its 2015 Yamaha Viking VI side x side vehicles after learning about loosened rear wheels that might cause the wheels to wobble or detach, the Consumer Product Safety Commission stated on April 14.
This defect may increase the risk of injurious, possibly fatal rollovers and collisions.
The affected 2015 models and their model numbers are as follows: Viking VI (YXC700DF), Viking VI Hunter (YXC700DHFH), Viking VI EPS (YXC700PF) and Viking VI EPS Hunter (YXC700PHFH). Model numbers can be found in the owner’s manual. A Vehicle Identification Number with an F in the 10th position means the vehicle was created in 2015.
The recalled vehicles were sold at different Yamaha dealership nationwide from June 2014 to March 2015. Consumers affected by the recall are urged to contact their local dealer to schedule a free car repair.
Defective tires are among the many causes of disastrous rollover crashes in the U.S. If you think a defective car component has been the cause of a damaging rollover incident, do not hesitate to seek justice and compensation. The legal team at the Auto Defects might be able to help you file a lawsuit against the party involved. Call us at today.
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015 at 4:02 pm
Two conflicting stories have emerged about what really happened in a collision between a police SUV and a black sedan in Chicago’s East Garfield Park, which left five people, including two police officers, injured, ABC News reported.
Authorities said that just after midnight on April 17, a police cruiser heading north on South Homan Avenue was hit by a black sedan traveling west on West Congress Parkway. The police SUV rolled over onto its hood before it slid off-road and into an alley. However, one of the other car’s occupants, Kerry Holoman, insisted that the police squad ran a red light while chasing another car, causing it to hit them.
All of the occupants in both cars were transported to different hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the black sedan, 19-year-old Tashawna Anderson, was issued a traffic citation. Police refused to comment about the allegations that the squad was at fault and said they are still investigating the incident.
Proving the negligence of another party in an auto accident is crucial in fighting for your right to justice and compensation. The legal team at the Auto Defects might be able to represent you during this legally trying time. Call us at for a free initial assessment of your case.
Monday, April 6th, 2015 at 12:01 am
12,361 Kia Sorento vehicles are being recalled by Kia after learning about a defective accelerator assembly that might cause the vehicle to accelerate improperly, a report by The Washington Post revealed on Wednesday, March 25.
According to a document issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kia Motors America has issued the recall due to a capacitor on an accelerator pedal circuit board that has not been soldered properly by the component manufacturer, Canadian-based KSR International. According to the Kia, the faulty accelerator assembly component may force the car into a decelerated state which could increase the chance of a rear-end collision. Vehicles manufactured between October 27, 2014 and January 29, 2015 are affected by the recall.
The automotive giant began sending recall letters to affected consumers in February.
To learn more about taking legal action after being hurt in an accident caused by a defectively-manufactured vehicle, our team of personal injury lawyers at Auto Defects can answer any questions you may have about filing a claim against the manufacturer involved. Call us at today to set up a free consultation.