Vehicle recalls could pose safety risk, several replacement parts not readily available

Posted at 8:00 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-21 21:00:03-04

Police are investigating the death of Hollywood actor Anton Yelchin, who was crushed by his SUV in his own driveway.

Now we're learning the gear shift in his car was under a recall and could've played a role in his death.

Many folks say they're not even aware of the recalls on their cars which could be a life or death situation.

Many in Green Country say they're informed by car companies, but can't do anything about it for weeks or even months.

“Who thinks about getting in your car to go somewhere and you don't think about something going wrong,” said Glenpool driver Sherry Perryman.

But for several months, that was the reality for Perryman whose Chevy HHR was recalled for its faulty ignition.

“It would turn off while you were driving down the road,” she said.

Perryman was just like millions of drivers who were left in limbo.

“Had to wait several months for the parts to come in, and you know, it could've been a problem,” she said.

“Most people don't know they have a problem until they get out of the car and it's rolling away on them,” said Auto Safety Research Analyst Sean Kane. “And that's what we have in this most recent high-profile event.”

Anton yelchin’s 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee was part of a recall involving one million cars.

The company, Chrysler, received complaints of trouble shifting and watching vehicles roll away.

“Sometimes the shear mass becomes the problem,” said Sgt. Steve Norton with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office is no stranger to recalls among their fleet.

Late model Dodge Chargers were also included in the gear shift recall, so many deputy units were serviced right away.

“When a citizen calls for help, we can't be broke down on the side of the road,” said Norton.

Folks like Perryman now search their VIN number regularly, in order to stay safe each time they get on the road.

“I know everything can fail, and there are errors all the time, but it would be nice to have better safety measures,” said Perryman.

Most car companies will notify you by mail if you have a recall, whether the parts are readily available or not.

A quick search online with your VIN number will also show the very latest recalls your car might have.

To see if your car has any active recalls click here.

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