The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is looking into about a million Dodge Ram 1500 pickups and Dodge Durango SUVs for problems with their gears that might cause them to roll away when the driver has put them into park. The NHTSA decided to conduct a preliminary evaluation of the vehicles after receiving complaints from over 40 people. The NHTSA blames at least 25 crashes and nine injuries on Dodges rolling away.
When does the problem occur?
The rollaways occur after the driver has put the vehicle into park and gotten out of the vehicle. The vehicle then appears to move on its own, rolling away from where the driver left the vehicle.
When most of the rollaways in question occurred, the driver had left the vehicle running. Some rollaways seem to have occurred when the vehicles were off.
What vehicles might be affected?
Although the majority of the reported instances have happened with 2013-2016 Ram 1500 pickups and 2014-2016 Dodge Durango SUVs, the NHTSA has seen a few cases involving 2012-2014 Land Rover Evoques and the 2013 Jaguar XF.
The NHTSA was previously made aware of the problem when Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chrysler 300, and Dodge Charger models began rolling away.
When did the problem begin?
The problem with unintended rollaways began in 2013, when several manufacturers changed the type of gear shifter they use in some of their vehicles.
Dodge, Ford, Jaguar and Chrysler stopped using traditional gear shifters and started using rotary transmission switches. All four manufacturers have since had problems with unintended rollaways.
The shifter design in the latest vehicles to have problems is not identical to the design of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger gear shifter, but it is similar and has led to similar problems.
These design defects have resulted in the recall of over one million vehicles, and the recent investigation into more than a million additional vehicles.
The NHTSA blames many accidents and injuries on this defective design. Actor Anton Yelchin’s parents filed a wrongful death suit against Fiat Chrysler after his Jeep Cherokee rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a security fence and brick mailbox pillar.
Do any of the models have a fail-safe mechanism to stop rollaways?
Some vehicles rolled away when the driver’s door was still open. While some Chrysler models have a mechanism to stop this from occurring (i.e., if the door opens and the driver removes his seatbelt, the electronic parking brake will engage), the Dodge vehicles in question do not.
What can I do if I was injured in a rollaway accident?
Have you been injured in an accident involving an unintended rollaway vehicle? You may have a claim for your damages. The car accident lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC will answer your questions and evaluate your claim.
Call us today at 215-642-2335 for your free consultation. We do not charge unless there is a recovery.