Anton Yelchin Death Triggers Class Action Jeep Lawsuit

6/24/2016 6:29 AM PDT

Anton Yelchin's Death Triggers Class Action Jeep Lawsuit

Anton Yelchin's horrifying death is now the centerpiece of a class action lawsuit filed by Jeep owners who says they've been betrayed and suffered economic loss in the wake of the actor's death.

The suit claims Fiat Chrysler knew about the defect in the shifting device for at least 2 years but concealed the information, resulting in dozens of injuries and very possibly Yelchin's death.

The suit targets what it says is "one of the most basic safety features in every car" -- the gear shifter.

TMZ broke the story ... Yelchin died after his jeep rolled backwards, pinning him against his security gate. His 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee had an e-shift, and there have been chronic problems with drivers unwittingly leaving the car in neutral but thinking it's in park.

The suit claims a variety of damages, including the loss in value of the vehicle as a result of the publicity ... clearly referring to Yelchin.