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Porsche sued for negligence in actor’s death

Paul Walker’s father blames lack of safety features in Carrera GT

Published: November 26, 2015, 1:00 PM
Updated: December 1, 2015, 4:56 AM

Porsche Carrera GT

Actor Paul Walker’s father is suing Porsche for negligence in the death of his son, alleging the company did not provide sufficient safety features for the car in which is son was killed.

The star of the Fast & Furious films was killed in a single car crash two years ago when the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT owned and driven by Walker’s friend Roger Rodas left the road, crashed into a concrete lamp standard and several trees and subsequently was engulfed in flames.

The suit alleges that had the car been equipped with safety features such as stability control, door beams and fuel line integrity, Walker might have survived the crash. Rodas’ widow has also filed a suit against the company in relation to her husband’s death.

Although it has not yet commented on the current filings, Porsche has responded to a previous suit, from Walker’s daughter, stating the car had been modified and was not up to date on its maintenance schedule.

After a 4-month investigation, the Los Angeles County Sherriff concluded the crash was a result of excessive speed, estimating the car at travelling at about 145 km/h at the time of impact, and possibly reaching 160 km/h (100 mph), according to eyewitness reports. Walker’s daughter’s lawsuit claims the car’s speed topped out at about 115 km/h

The Department spokesman said the car had several modifications. One of them was the exhaust system to enhance the engine note, but which also boosted horsepower. The production Carrera GT uses a 5.7-litre V-10 that puts out 612 hp and can take the lightweight car to 100 km/h in about 3.5 seconds, go from 80 to 120 km/h in 6.35 seconds, and hit a top speed of 320 km/h (200 mph).

Cooperating with the investigation, Porsche sent engineers to help analyze the wreckage and both parties agreed there was no sign of structural malfunction, but did find the rear brakes worn below recommendations and tires that were nine years old. However, the parties stated the brakes were not worn to the point of leading to the crash, nor did the tires, which had limited mileage on them.