A federal judge has ruled that Porsche bears no responsibility for the crash that killed movie star Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas in 2013. Walker and Rodas were killed when a modified 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, driven by Rodas, caught fire after spinning off the road and striking a pole. Both men were unable to escape the inferno and were pronounced dead at the scene.
A suit filed by Rodas’s wife alleged that Porsche was at fault for the fatal accident due to a lack of numerous safety features in the Porsche Carrera GT that the men were driving in. U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez ruled that the suit “has provided no competent evidence that Rodas’ death occurred as a result of any wrongdoing on the part of defendant.” Rodas’s lawsuit claimed that the Carrera GT’s lack of a roll cage, fuel cell, and stability control made the crash fatal, and that the car’s suspension failed in the moments leading up to the crash, allegations the judge refuted.
Immediately after the crash, L.A. investigators determined that the Porsche was travelling between 80 and 93 mph at the time of impact; that both Rodas and Walker were wearing seatbelts, and neither was under the influence of drugs or alcohol; that both occupants’ air bags deployed; and that no mechanical failures contributed to the accident. The Porsche was found to be riding on tyres that were more than nine years old at the time of the crash, as the vehicle itself was over 8 years old at the time of the crash. Engineers from Porsche and Michelin, the maker of the tyres, cooperated in the investigation.
Paul Walker’s daughter and father have both brought similar lawsuits against Porsche, alleging that design flaws in the Carrera GT caused the fatal crash.