Jaguar Land Rover is sued over a "defective" Range Rover gearshift that a man claims caused his wife's death and is at the center of hundreds of other claims that cars rolled away while parked.
Michael Farhat is suing the company over the death of its fashion designer Shadi after she was run over and killed by her luxury SUV that she believed was parked.
His lawsuit contains video of the accident he claims was caused by the Range Rover's rotary switch and many other Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.
Ms. Farhat repeatedly complained about not being able to tell when the vehicle was in the park and tried to flip the gear selector, which is a dial that pops out of the dashboard and rotates to select gears .
He claims the company has received hundreds of similar complaints, including 28 about Range Rover, and US federal agencies have been investigating reports of accidental slip-ups for four years but dropped the investigation this year.
The Range Rover had stopped in a Los Angeles parking lot when Shadi got out, thinking she'd put the equipment in the park
Footage shows the car rolling back after Ms. Farhat got out and trapped her feet under the door
Ms. Farhat repeatedly complained that she could not tell when the vehicle was in the park and tried to operate the gear selector, which is a dial
The rotary shift lever is attached to the Range Rover and many other Jaguar Land Rover vehicles, with park and reverse gear next to each other on the dial (file image).
Ms. Farhat stepped out of her 2017 Range Rover SUV in Los Angeles in 2018 when it rolled back and held her under the wheel in the horrific footage the family shared with CBS as part of the lawsuit.
The Los Angeles mother of two stood up before she collapsed, and she died days later.
Mr Farhat, who is now raising his two daughters alone, blames the "defective gear selector" that he claims can confuse drivers.
He told CBS News, "She has complained a lot about it," I can't tell when it's in the park, I can't tell if it's the other way around, I can't tell if it's moving. "
Michael cited company documents from 2017 in his lawsuit alleging that the company was aware of hundreds of potential complaints about cars with a gear stick.
He claims there were 28 complaints in the Range Rover model alone.
Michael (top left) has taken legal action against Jaguar Land Rover over the "defective gearshift" which he claims can confuse drivers and his wife (top right, pictured with their two daughters).
In various Jaguar Land Rover models, when the engine is off, the gear selector is in a lower position
When the engine is on, the rotary knob will rise so the driver can turn it out of the parked setting
The Jaguar Land Rover's vehicle documents state: “Before leaving the vehicle, make sure the vehicle is stationary. Choose park. Apply the electric parking brake (EPB). Stop engine.
"The vehicle can move unexpectedly in any other selected gear position, which can result in death or serious injury."
Gina Warsavsky says she had a similar accident last month when her SUV knocked her over and ran over her right hand, requiring her to have reconstructive surgery.
She said she thought she had left the car in the park when she got out and it began to turn in her direction.
Michael (pictured above, with his two daughters and wife below) cited company documents from 2017 in his lawsuit allegedly showing that the company was aware of hundreds of potential complaints
Gina, whom we are also suing against Jaguar Land Rover, said: “It was terrible. It was a nightmare that haunted me forever. & # 39;
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has spent nearly four years investigating accidental rollaways with a gear stick in Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.
They ended their investigation in August after not finding any mechanical or electronic faults, but instead blamed the operator error.
In court files, Land Rover has also denied the fault, stating that the accidents were the drivers' fault.
Gina Warsavsky says she had a similar accident last month when her SUV knocked her over and ran over her right hand
The NHTSA said it will continue to monitor the issue and will take further action if new information emerges.
Attorney Dylan Ruga, who represents both Farhat and Warsavsky, said: “Drivers are confused and Land Rover knows drivers are confused. And, unfortunately, this is the inevitable result of what happens when people think the car is in the park and not. & # 39;
Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin died in an alleged accident in 2016 when his Jeep Grand Cherokee hit him against a brick pillar.
After the incident, many automakers added new safety features to help prevent similar accidents. However, Land Rover didn't add this feature to hybrid Range Rover until 2018.
The company declined to comment to CBS on the incidents due to ongoing legal action.
However, a statement said: “Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC is committed to the safety of our customers and is sad to hear about these incidents. As this matter is now related to pending litigation, we cannot comment further. & # 39;
The NHTSA encourages vehicle owners to report safety deficiencies online or via the agency's hotline at 888-327-4236.
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