Porsche Faces Fast and Furious Lawsuit
NEW YORK (MainStreet) Porsche is facing a lawsuit from Kristine Rodas, the widow of Roger Rodas, who was driving the Carrera GT that crashed last November, killing him and passenger Paul Walker, star of "The Fast and the Furious" franchise.
Police approximate the 2005 Carrera GT was zipping along at 90 mph clip when Rodas lost control. But in her wrongful death lawsuit, Rodas's widow blames the vehicle's faulty suspension claiming the right rear tire suddenly steered to the left. She also says the coupe had an inadequate crash cage and lacked gas tank safety features. Rodas's attorney hired expert investigators to counter claims that the car was traveling at unsafe speeds.
Last month, MainStreet spoke about sports car speed with Porsche North America CEO Detlev von Platen about the 918 Spyder, one of the fastest street-legal cars out there and the successor to the Carrera GT.
"Actually four years ago, 2008-2009, the whole world was talking about fuel economy, fuel standards, and a lot of people started to raise the question, 'Is there any future for sports cars? Why do we need sports cars?'" he said. "And it was really important for us at that time to show and demonstrate that sports cars have a future."
Controlling the narrative of that future holds takes continued technological and automative innovation.
"We want to be able to invest with our own money in our own destiny," Detlev told MainStreet.
Of course, that destiny can be complicated when the company faces legal scrutiny.
Porsche has been sued before over the Carrera GT. In 2006, the company contributed to a $4.5 million settlement when a driver and passenger died in a track accident. The passenger's widow sued the driver's estate, the track, and Porsche. The three parties settled without admitting wrongdoing.
--Written by Ross Kenneth Urken for MainStreet