Today Andrew Irwin took the stand, he reconstructs accidents and one of the software programs he uses in determining some of his results is called ED-SMAC. He showed a blown up picture of Koua Fong Lee’s left rear brake light bulb, specifically focusing on the filament. He said the filament reached 2000 degrees in the breake bulb from Koua’s car and due to the shape of the filament, he is 100% certain that Koua was stepping on the brakes at the time of impact. Lawyer asked Andrew if there was anything else that could possibly cause this filament to act and look how it does and Andrew responded, “No”. Toyota’s defense for this case has always been and still is that Koua never stepped on the brake and that he accidentally stepped on the gas instead.
The main defense attorney on this case is Bob Hilliard. He was one of the attorneys handling the BP oil spill in southern United States and he is also involved in the GM lawsuit. In his opening statement during this particular lawsuit which is being held before The Honorable Judge Ann Montgomery in Minneapolis Federal Court, Bob showed a hugely blown up image of a test method/spec that Toyota uses when testing their Accelerator Control System (ACS) on the 1996 Camrys before determining if they are safe and reliable enough to release for sale. Turns out, the pulleys in all the ACS units that Toyota tested are metal pulleys. Well Koua’s ACS unit does not contain metal pulleys, they are plastic. These pulleys control the accelerator cable and this ACS unit sits just inches from the engine and the ACS unit is not fully encapsulated. The cover to the ACS unit goes around and on top of the unit, but the bottom is not covered at all. There is also no scheduled or required or suggested maintenance in any of Toyota’s manuals for these ACS units. Since this information was made during an opening statement, it has not been proven just yet. Testimony on that is coming Tuesday.
Will post a blog after court on Tuesday.