FCA e-shifter blamed for 266 crashes, 68 injuries

FCA\'s e-shifter design may have been deadly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has linked 266 crashes and 68 injuries to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' recalled e-shifter, federal regulators announced on Tuesday.

In all, FCA has recalled 1.1 million vehicles worldwide to fix the electronic gear lever design that the NHTSA says "does not provide the tactile or visual feedback that drivers are accustomed to receiving from conventional shifters.” The defect increases the risk of a rollaway accident.

The e-shifter recall covers 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 models. FCA also added about 13,000 Maserati vehicles to its U.S. recall.

The e-shifter recall gained notoriety last week when "Star Trek” actor Anton Yelchin was killed when his recalled Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled down a steep driveway and pinned the 27-year-old against a brick pillar. The NHTSA has not pinpointed the shifter as the cause of Yelchin death, but the agency told Automotive News that his passing "may have been related to the alleged defect.”

The NHTSA has not officially linked any fatalities to the defective shifter design.

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