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Jeep Chrysler Dodge Gear Shifter Rollaway Lawsuit

            The plaintiffs in this lawsuit allege that Fiat Chrysler committed negligence, gross negligence, and breach of implied warranty of merchantability by manufacturing and selling multiple vehicles with a defective shifter that has no tactile or position feedback that indicates to the operator that the vehicle is in park.  The electronic gear shifter that was incorporated in Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge vehicles has caused over 300 accidents due to operators not knowing whether or not the vehicle was in park and poses a risk to thousands more.

            Plaintiff John J. Malone is a resident of Massachusetts domiciled in Beverly,Massachusetts.  Mr. Malone bought a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee in January 2016. Unknown to Mr. Malone at the time the vehicle was purchased, the vehicle was equipped with a ZF Shifter that is defectively designed. The design defect allows the driver to get out of the car while the car is not in “park,” which can cause the car to roll away from its parked position. The defect in the Jeep Grand Cherokee has caused Mr. Malone serious physical injury. Jeep knew that the ZF Shifter could lead to vehicle rollaway incidents but did not disclose this defect to Mr. Malone, so Mr. Malone operated the vehicle on the reasonable, but mistaken, belief that the Jeep Grand Cherokee was safe to operate as designed

            The 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was equipped with the ZF Shifter, which is an 8-speed transmission with an electronic gear selector.  Other vehicles include certain model year Chrysler 300s and Dodge Chargers.  The shifter does not have positions for each gear setting (Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive).  Rather, it always rests in the same position after having been pushed up or down from that position.  The ZF Shifter does not include a safety override that prevents the driver from getting out of the car when it is not in “park.”  Other manufacturers with similar shifters such as BMW and Audi have incorporated these basic safety features.  Jeep recognizes that this is a problem and on its website stated, “Tod address customer satisfaction issues, the Company began equipping the Charger and 300 with a new shift-lever design in model-year 2015.  The Grand Cherokee’s shift-lever was updated in model year 2016.”  Fiat Chrysler had the economic and human capital to determine that the ZF Shifter was a defective risk to customer safety and should have had the quality control measures in place to protect drivers.  Jeep has acknowledged that it knows of at least 41 injuries relating to this “confusing” shifter.  Jeep has concealed information from the NHTSA and has delayed an inadequate response to this serious problem, potentially causing even more injuries.

            Based on all the facts, the plaintiffs allege that Fiat Chrysler committed negligence, gross negligence, and breach of implied warranty of merchantability by manufacturing and selling multiple vehicles with a defective shifter.  Not only is the shifter extraordinarily dangerous, but Fiat Chrysler knew about it and withheld this information from consumers and owners.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer
No case events.
Tags: Defective Automobile, Defective Gear Shifter, Your Car