Ford fire inquest postponed to August

2019-06-03 15:05
Part of a Ford Kuga in the Western Cape High Court. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Part of a Ford Kuga in the Western Cape High Court. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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The inquest into the cause of Reshall Jimmy's death, after he was found dead in a burnt-out Ford Kuga, was postponed to August in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

"We're not going to proceed with any further evidence at this stage," said Judge Robert Henney, echoing an agreement between all parties. 

"The parties must just then inform the court with regard to further outstanding issues." 

The inquest is being held to determine whether anybody can be held liable for Jimmy's death after his car burnt out in December 2015 in the Wilderness in the Southern Cape. 

After that, there were 52 incidents of fires in Ford Kuga vehicles, but nobody was injured. 

In January 2017, Ford recalled 4 670 vehicles in South Africa to rectify an engine cooling deficiency.

READ: Kuga fire: No failure 'within Ford's control', says expert

If the inquest establishes that Ford was at fault regarding Jimmy's death, the National Prosecuting Authority could charge Ford with culpable homicide.

Ford's independent investigator, John Loud, disputed that the fire was caused by the vehicle's body control module through a series of tests and simulations, and concluded that the cause of the fire was undetermined.

Last week, a fire investigator who probed the blaze, found that an electrical short circuit caused the fire. Hendrik McLeod, who is from FireWise Consultants, was contracted by insurance company Telesure to investigate. 

The court heard that the parties had agreed to communicate with each other regarding any further issues, including the filing of heads of argument.

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