Back in November of 2013, millions of people around the world were devastated to learn of Paul Walker’s untimely passing. The star of the Fast and Furious franchise was travelling in the passenger seat of a Porsche Carrera GT in Los Angeles, when the car lost control and careened into a tree, killing the 40-year-old, as well as his friend Roger Rodas, who was driving the vehicle. A coroner reported that the vehicle was travelling at around 100 miles per hour.
In the aftermath of the accident, the likes of Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez led the tragic tributes. However, his only daughter, Meadow Walker, sensed all was not as it seemed and sought justice for her father. In April 2016, Meadow received $10.1 million in damages when it was proven that Rodas was responsible for the accident and she is currently engaged in a wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche, the makers of the Carrera GT. The court case has been transformed by the emergence of emails that reflect very badly on the carmakers.
As the wrongful death lawsuit involving Paul Walker rumbles on between Porsche and Meadow Walker, the 18-year-old’s lawyer uncovered documents that appeared to show employees speculating over how they could turn the notoriety of the car into profit.
The wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche is based on the fact that the makers of the 2005 Carrera GT, the model Walker was sitting in when he was killed, were aware that the car had significant defects. Meadow’s lawyer, Jerry Milliam, was reading an e-mail between employees at Porsche relating to the car’s sales in 2006, where it emerged that around 200 of the 1,280 Carrera GT models produced so far had been totalled. The emails had initially been edited on a Windows PC, but viewing the documents on an iMac allowed Milliam to see what had originally been redacted.
The uncovered emails implied that not only that Porsche knew the cars could have been defective, they actively joked about the cars malfunctioning, mocking a mechanic who crashed into a pole. The Porsche employees also speculated about the possibility of turning the defective vehicles into a possible sales opportunity, in a sickening exchange between these two workers at a trusted car company.
“I thought this might interest you. Another Carrera GT bites the dust as a bodyshop mechanic who claimed he was going less than 30MPH smashed into a telephone pole. Looks like he was going more than thirty to me!!! I was curious about a statistic that was mentioned to me and if anyone knows if it is accurate. Total worldwide production of the Carrera GT was 1280 and to date over 200 of them were already totaled. This would be great news to the remaining owners as the GT becomes more rare. Anyone know if these numbers are accurate?
In light of the new information, Jerry Milliam intends to implore judges to impose sanctions on Porsche for intentionally withholding information. Meadow and her lawyer are reportedly looking for over $50,000 for Porsche’s dishonesty in concealing the emails. Milliam also released a statement condemning the email exchange, questioning the ethical integrity of the employees involved.
“Hidden records and emails show that Porsche management knew that more than 200 of the 1280 Carrera GTs produced from 2004 to 2006 may have been totaled within its first two years of sales. Any ethical company would have withdrawn the car from the market – or, at the very least, warned the public about its dangers, particularly since Porsche had deliberately left its touted Porsche Stability Management system off this model. Instead, Porsche management did nothing but make callous jokes in internal emails about how this would improve the value of the remaining cars.“
As we learn more information about Paul Walker’s tragic accident, it’s becoming more apparent that Walker had little to do with the crash, and seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and possibly in the wrong car. A court found that the driver Roger Rodas was at least partly at fault, and these e-mails show that the 2005 Carrera GT may have been defective. As the court case rumbles on, I hope that the truth, as well as justice for Paul Walker, can eventually be found.