Jeep Dealership Denies Liability in Anton Yelchin's Death, Blames Him for the Accident

Auto company denies liability

By Kendall Fisher Oct 06, 2016 5:49 PMTags
Related: E! Remembers Anton Yelchin

The California car dealership that sold Anton Yelchin the 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed him in June is denying any sort of liability for the accident. In fact, they're blaming him.

Yelchin's parents filed a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, ZF North America and AutoNation (which has since been removed) in August, citing that "defective" gearshift is what ultimately caused the Jeep to roll down the 27-year-old actor's driveway and crush him against the gate outside of his home. 

However, according to documents obtained by E! News, the Valencia, Calif., dealership where Yelchin bought the Jeep is requesting to be removed from the lawsuit. They're claiming the accident was Yelchin's fault for his "misuse, misapplication or damage" to the car, suggesting he made changes to the vehicle after its purchase.

The dealership is also claiming that Yelchin's parents didn't preserve the vehicle properly after the accident, which would compromise evidence in the case.

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When Yelchin's parents originally came forward and announced the wrongful death lawsuit in August, his father said, "With unbelievable grief, we decided to come here to prevent other families with the same tragedy."

He continued, "Anton was our only son—a remarkable human being. It's against nature when a parent has to bury their own child."

In June, Yelchin was standing behind his car that was parked in his driveway at his Studio City, Calif., home when the vehicle rolled backwards and pinned him against a brick mailbox and a security fence, a police spokesperson told E! News at the time. He had been on his way to meet friends for a rehearsal and when he didn't show up, they went to his house and found his body.

The Los Angeles county coroner later confirmed that the 27-year-old's death was ruled an accident by blunt traumatic asphyxia from the force of the car against his body.

His Jeep Grand Cherokee was among 1.1 million vehicles recalled in April after the FCA claimed its gearshifters made drivers believe the vehicle was in park when it wasn't, causing many accidents and injuries.