Thursday, January 15, 2015 Court Events: Bob Hilliard (Koua’s lawyer) showed in court (on the monitors for all in court to see), a deposition from a Toyota employee who designed the accelerator control system for the 1996 Camry). The deposition stated heat tests were conducted on the two plastic pulleys found inside Accelerator Control System (ACS) units of the 1996 Toyota Camry. The entire ACS unit with plastic pulleys were tested by John Stilson and proven to malfunction when the ACS unit is heated to a certain temperature,
I mentioned in my last post that mechanical engineer John Stilson heated the ACS unit for 30 minutes to 165 deg F and the top plastic pulley that the accelerator cable goes into became stuck to the metal bracket and the pulley wouldn’t release the accelerator cable. It took approx. six minutes for the pulley to cool down enough to release the accelerator cable in Mr. Stilson’s first heat test. Remember, the upper plastic pulley rests against a metal bracket and that metal bracket sits just inches from the exhaust manifold which heats anywhere from 900-1000 degrees while driving.
Toyota’s deposition shown in court stated that heat tests were conducted on these plastic pulleys for 8 days @ 248 deg F. John Stilson used a hair dryer for 30 minutes and got the upper pulley to heat up to 165 deg and the upper pulley wouldn’t function properly at that temperature. We watched a video of the heat tests and watched how long it took for the plastic pulleys to cool down and release the accelerator cable.
On cross examination, one of Toyota’s lawyers asked John Stilson, “Did you even think of taking this 1996 Camry that you have in your possession, hook up some thermocouples inside the ACS unit, drive the car around for thirty minutes and check what temperature the inside of the ACS unit actually heats up to in real life situation?” (I’m paraphrasing). John Stilson’s reply: “No, because I wanted to follow Toyota’s specification”. It is listed in Toyota’s service manual that if you want to test for malfunction due to heat, use a hair dryer. I would say Stilson’s tests were conducted properly and the results are credible.