Kristine Rodas, the widow of race car driver Roger Rodas, who was driving the Porsche Carrera GT that crashed and killed Rodas and actor Paul Walker last year, is suing Porsche for unspecified damages. According to the Los Angeles Times, Rodas’ lawsuit alleges that design faults with the Porsche’s suspension caused the crash, not excessive speed as was ruled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s report earlier this year.
This report ruled that the Carrera GT was traveling between 80 and 93 mph (or approximately twice the 45 mph speed limit) when it lost control and hit a power pole and trees. The Sherriff’s Department’s investigation found that both Walker and Rodas were wearing seatbelts, and that neither of them tested positive for alcohol or drugs. Investigators also consulted with Porsche technicians before concluding that mechanical problems were not responsible for the crash.
A statement from the Rodas family’s lawsuit against Porsche, though, contends that a defect with the car was the cause of the crash. “The [Porsche] Carrera GT was unsafe for its intended use by reason of defects in its manufacture, design, testing, component, and constituents, so that it would not safely serve its purpose,” reads the family’s statement. More specifically, the lawsuit reportedly claims that the car was actually going only 55 mph when the right rear tire of the Carrera GT unexpectedly steered to the left, causing Road to lose control of the vehicle as it spun clockwise before impacting the light pole and tree.
Porsche Cars North America responded to this lawsuit, reiterating the results of the completed investigation. “We are very sorry for the Rodas and Walker family's loss,” Porsche’s statement reads. “The crash was the subject of a detailed investigation by the proper authorities (L.A. County Sheriff and California Highway Patrol), and their investigation disproves the allegations in the lawsuit. The investigation found that driving at a high speed in a negligent manner caused the crash and concluded that there was no mechanical defect.”