The lawsuit filed today (Sept. 28) by Meadow Rain Walker claims the actor was still alive after the car crash. But because of design flaws, he was unable to escape as the car became engulfed in flames.
Following Walker’s death, IM conducted an examination of more than a dozen Carrera GT car crashes that were similar to the one that took the lives of the actor and his friend. (See Photos)
In each case the car became uncontrollable, even in the hands of the most skilled drivers. Several crashes resulted in fires and deaths.
The car, powered by a ten-cylinder, 610 horsepower engine, is capable of accelerating from 0- to 60-mph in less than 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 205 mph, according to company specs.
Those familiar with the car say it’s brutish and difficult to drive. Most models do not include traction control that’s standard on other Porsche sports cars. The carmaker calls it as close to a race car in design and handling while still street legal.
The supercar was manufactured between 2004 and 2007. Only 1,270 cars rolled off the assembly line, making it one of the rarest Porsche’s ever produced. It’s unknown how many are still on the road, but at least 20 cars have been wrecked, according to news reports.
Both Walker and Rodas were burned beyond recognition by the time fire fighters extinguished the flames. Autopsies showed the Rodas died instantly from head injuries.
Walker was still alive when the fire started. He died from his injuries and smoke inhalation, according to the report. He was unconscious when the car caught fire.
The suit claims the car did not have a stability control system like those installed on all other Porsche sports car models. The systems were added on later models. Some owners also paid to have systems retrofitted themselves to tame the car’s handling characteristics.
The suit charges that the traction control system may have prevented Rodas from losing control of the car and skidding into a light pole and three trees.
The Carrera GT allegedly had a “history of instability and control issues,” according to court papers.
The lawsuit also claims seat belts were defective and “snapped Walker’s torso back with thousands of pounds of force, thereby breaking his ribs and pelvis.”
The seat belt made it impossible for Walker to get out of the car, according to papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Among other structural defects, the suit alleges the cars fuel lines were inadequate and door reinforcements were too weak. In a number of other crashes, the car split in half.
The police investigation blames the crash solely on driver error. Rodas was estimated to be traveling at 80- to 83-mph when he lost control on a sweeping curve, according to the report.
But the lawsuit claims the car was traveling much slower, between 63- and 71-mph. Still, that’s well over the posted speed limit on the road.
Porsche has yet to responded to the suit, though it has previously said the car itself was not responsible for the crash.
Walker was filming “Fast & Furious 7,” a movie about high-performance street racing, when he died.
Check out the photos of crashed Carrera GT cars. Where available the circumstances of the accident are detailed.
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