Besides the performance and panache, one of the main draws to Porsche ownership is the extensive level of customization; you can, for instance, color-coordinate the dashboard to your favorite sweater.
That freedom might be too much of a good thing. It just resulted in a class action lawsuit over glare, and Porsche agreed to settle it for basically the price of a nice pair of sunglasses.
Traditionally, most dashboards are black because of how well-suited it is for reducing glare. Lighter colors and shades, by contrast, if you will, can create dangerous glare if enough sunlight reflects off of the surface. If you bought or leased a new Porsche between 2007 and 2016 that had a dashboard finished in Luxor Beige, Sand Beige, Cognac, Platinum Grey, or Natural Brown, and you did something to mitigate the resultant glare—i.e. you bought a pair of sunglasses—you are now eligible to receive up to $175 from Porsche to cover your out of pocket expenses.
2014 Porsche 911 Targa live photos, 2014 Detroit Auto Show
A quartet of plaintiffs alleged that Porsches with dashboards in the above colors are defective, “due to the intensity of reflected images” off of the dash and onto the windshield, otherwise known as glare. Porsche, for its part, doesn’t admit guilt, and denies the allegation.
The big winners are the attorneys who will combine for a nearly $800,000 payday, and the four plaintiffs, who stand to net $3,750 each. Fans of legal boilerplate will benefit, too, thanks to this gem that will now appear on Porsche's online configurator:
“Note: Glass is reflective. Certain lighting conditions may cause a lighter color dashboard to produce a noticeable reflection on the inside of the windshield. To make certain that you are satisfied with your selection, ask your Porsche dealer to arrange a test drive experience in a variety of conditions, including with the use of polarized sunglasses.”
Translation: either do your homework, buy some quality shades, or get used to seeing paradise by the (very bright) dashboard light.
-- by Aaron Miller