Nebraska readers are likely well aware of the recent Los Angeles car crash that took the life of “Fast and Furious” franchise star Paul Walker. What is perhaps less well-known is that the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT Walker was riding in that day has been described as “dangerous” and very difficult to drive.
Early reports on the Walker accident place his longtime financial manager and friend at the wheel. The driver apparently lost control of the Carrera and struck a tree, which caused the car to catch on fire. The Carrera was reportedly developed by Porsche to rival the much more expensive Ferrari Enzo for the world’s fastest car title. The Carrera cost $450,000 new and had a 610 horsepower V10 engine, and there were less than 1,300 manufactured.
A Porsche test driver and world rally champion told Drive magazine that it was the first car in his life that he felt “scared” to drive. The concept for the car had been unveiled in 2000 at the motor show in Paris, but had been delayed because the test driver said that the power level in the car would be unmanageable for ordinary drivers.
In 2005, Jay Leno, known as an adept mechanic and driver, drove a Carrera GT on the Talladega track and spun out of control, an unusual event for a driver of Leno’s caliber. There had also been a fatal Carrera GT crash in 2006 at the California Speedway. The case, which settled out of court for $4.5 million, fueled opinions that Porsche had designed a particularly deadly vehicle because it does not have electronic stability control.
When a car is dangerous, it is most often caused by a manufacturing defect rather than by design. Whatever the cause, when a defect in a car causes an accident that results in severe injuries or death, the manufacturer may be held liable. A Nebraska personal injury attorney may be able to obtain a substantial settlement from an auto manufacturer on behalf of an accident victim or class of victims if it can be proven that the manufacturer knowingly released a dangerous car onto the market.
Source: Forbes, “Pro Drivers, Jay Leno Also Struggled With The Porsche That Killed Paul Walker,” Hannah Elliott, Dec. 3, 2013