Two years ago, on November 30th, 2013, actor Paul Walker and a friend, Roger Rodas, were killed after Rodas lost control of the Porsche Carrera he was driving. The two had been at a benefit hosted by their racing team. The car struck a power pole and nearby trees. Neither man died instantly, instead succumbing to a combination of significant bodily trauma and fire.
Porsche Carreras are expensive vehicles, and most people assume the safety profile for such a vehicle would be excellent. But the family of Paul Walker, particularly his 16-year-old daughter, pushed for extensive safety testing of these vehicles after the details of the accident scene just didn’t add up. What they discovered was terrifying.
Investigators quickly lost track of all the safety design defects they found, but some were of particular importance, including:
- Reinforcement bars were fashioned of weaker material than is standard
- Welds used to hold important safety features in place were lacking
- Safety features were missing that come standard in much cheaper cars
Until the death of Paul Walker, people paid little attention to the safety of this type of vehicle, and third party inspections regarding the safety profile of such a car were all but non-existent. Sadly, thousands of less famous people are injured and killed in car accidents every day, but because they lack the notoriety and resources of a famous actor, no follow-up investigations are ever done to determine the safety of the vehicle they were driving.
Porsche denies the family’s claims that the vehicle was unsafe, instead accusing the driver of speeding. There is disagreement as to how fast the vehicle was traveling at the time of impact, with Porsche insisting Mr. Rodas was driving one-hundred miles per hour. Other estimates indicate he might have been traveling as slow as 40 miles per hour, a huge discrepancy with Porsche’s account.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, determining the cause of the accident is extremely important, as is determining whether or not the vehicle was safe. Car companies issue hundreds of recalls a year, but only when the unsafety of their vehicles has already been determined. Please contact a qualified attorney who can help you get the answers you need and perhaps help you get a dangerous vehicle off the road.