You may recall the video below that went viral in 2009. It showed the owner of a Bugatti Veyron unbelievably driving his car straight into a lake. It was followed by a video that showed the car being extracted from the river by a tow truck driver.
At the time, everybody assumed it was a devastating accident. The owner, Andy House, a Texan car dealer, lodged a claim with his insurance company to collect a payout of around $2.15 million following the accident. His claim detailed the incident as an accident that occurred due to him swerving to avoid a pelican. As you can see in the video below, there was no pelican and certainly no swerving.
The Houston Chronicle claims that Mr House borrowed around $1 million from a friend to purchase the car earlier that year, but only weeks before the ‘accident’, he increased his insurance cover to $2.15 million as a collector’s vehicle. The payout would potentially earn the owner a staggering $1 million – not bad when you consider the type of depreciation you would normally expect with a car like the Veyron.
Unbeknown to Mr House, an enthusiast was filming the Veyron on an adjacent road seconds before it plunged into the water. Mr House didn’t expect his master plan to go so pear-shaped when the video went viral (now with over three million views) and exposed his fraud.
His insurer, Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co, is now suing Mr House for the payout figure, claiming that it wasn’t an accident and the claim he lodged was fraudulent. The insurer also claims that Mr House ran the engine for up to 15 minutes following the car being submerged, making the engine unusable.
The Bugatti Veyron has a top speed of 408km/h and is powered by a 8.0-litre, quad-turbocharged 16-cylinder engine that produces 736kW of power.
According to the Daily Mail, federal court judge Judge John R Froeschner refused to settle the matter and has deferred the hearing for a later date. CarAdvice will keep you posted as this fascinating case develops.