Car Dealership Fires Back At Anton Yelchin Wrongful Death Suit

A wrench has been thrown in the wrongful death lawsuit that actor Anton Yelchin's parents filed after his tragic death, at age 27, in June 2016.

The Star Trek star's parents, Victor and Irina Yelchin, sued Fiat Chrysler in August 2016, claiming defects in Anton's 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee led to the vehicle pinning him against a gate outside his home, reported the Chicago Tribune. According to the suit, "Anton Yelchin was crushed and lingered alive for some time, trapped and suffocating until his death."

TMZ said an unnamed local dealership asked to be dropped from the lawsuit for a multitude of reasons. Among them: the dealer accused Victor and Irina of not properly preserving the Jeep after the accident occurred, which could skew evidence in an investigation; the dealership alleged Anton was at fault in the freak accident due to his own "misuse, misapplication or damage" to the vehicle, which reportedly could include "aftermarket changes" after it left the dealer's lot.

Anton's Jeep was reportedly one of nearly 1.1 million vehicles recalled in April 2016. According to the Associated Press (via Page Six), regulators said the model's gear shifters often confused drivers, causing vehicles to appear to be in park when they weren't. The report claims the gear shifters' defect caused "dozens of injuries" with the subsequent rollaway risk. A government investigation revealed that the allegedly faulty gear shifters led to 266 crashes and injured 68 people as of late June 2016.