Kristine Rodas, the wife of Roger Rodas, who was driving the vehicle last November when it crashed and exploded in Santa Clarita, California, filed the suit Monday in Los Angeles. It claims negligence, wrongful death and product liability and asks for a jury trial.
In it, she claims the vehicle should have had a crash cage and a heavily protected fuel cell like those seen in racing vehicles – which, she says, the 2005 Carrera GT basically was designed to be.
"A properly functioning crash cage would have prevented the death of Roger Rodas and Paul Walker," the suit says. Even without a crash cage to protect the fuel tank, it says, "the fire would have been prevented had the vehicle been fitted with a proper racing fuel cell."
Such fuel cells are typically not compromised even in horrific crashes, preventing the kind of explosions seen in Rodas and Walker's crash.
In January, the Los Angeles County Coroner released a report that said speed, not faulty mechanics, was the main cause of the wreck. The car was traveling at over 100 m.p.h. when it swerved out of control, that report said.
An investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol, released in March, concluded much the same thing.
The new lawsuit disputes that, saying the car was traveling at only 55 m.p.h. when a failure in the suspension system precipitated the accident.
David Tonnessen / Pacific Coast News