Injuries Caused by Electronic Gear Shifter Are Starting to Add Up

How’s this for a review? The government says Chrysler’s electronic gear shifter “appears to violate several basic design guidelines for vehicle controls.” They go on to say it isn’t consistent or easy to use. Tell us how you really feel.

Despite all that, they have closed their investigation because Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) has agreed to recall more than a million vehicles and update their gear shifter’s software.

But is that enough? The real problem here is that the shifter is unintuitive. It has a central “neutral position” where the lever moves back to each time the driver releases the shifter. Gone are the days of going by the feel or location of the shifter to know when you’re in park, now you have to check an indicator light.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did mention actor Anton Yelchin’s death while closing their investigation. He was crushed by a vehicle with a monostable shifter that was rolling away.

The following vehicles use Chrysler’s e-Shift:

  • 2012-2014 Dodge Chargers
  • 2012-2014 Chrysler 300
  • 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee