Half a Ford Kuga chassis in court - expert establishes credentials in Reshall Jimmy death case

2019-05-20 12:35
Witness John Loud in a model of Reshall Jimmy's Kuga in the Western Cape High Court. ( Jenni Evans, News24)

Witness John Loud in a model of Reshall Jimmy's Kuga in the Western Cape High Court. ( Jenni Evans, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ford brought the big guns in for the resumption of the inquest into whether a fault in its Kuga model was responsible for the death of Reshall Jimmy.

Its witness at the Western Cape High Court proceedings was a US-based engineer who was part of a team of scientists who advised on a recall on vaping devices. 

"They refunded all the consumers and they pulled them from service," said John Loud, principal engineer for Exponent Incorporated in the US, as he established his credentials before Judge Robert Henney.

Next to the dock where Loud sat, was half of a Ford Kuga, and in front of him on a board were some of the components of the vehicle's wiring and other parts.

Thousands recalled

Jimmy was found dead in his vehicle on December 4, 2015. His family believes there was a fault with the vehicle which made it burst into flames. In 2017, 4 670 Kugas were recalled to rectify a cooling deficiency issue.

Before the inquest began, legal teams looked through the car which has two front seats and its cubby hole taken out for a view of the internal wiring.

Loud told Henney his speciality was not only to establish what caused fires, but also to advise companies if recalls were necessary. 

As an example, he said one of his cases involved electronic cigarettes where "about eight or nine" of the devices had failed and burst into flames.

He did not name the company, but said there was a recall after its analysis.

The company's work also includes establishing causes of fires in apartment buildings.

Earlier in the proceedings the SA Police Service's investigating officer's qualifications were questioned, but Henney said that having a degree did not necessarily make a person an expert over somebody who had 30 years' field experience. The police officer's qualifications will be canvassed later and it will be up to Henney to decide which evidence to accept.

Loud said four examplars of the Ford Kuga were used extensively to understand whatever they could learn about the fire, and to test hypothesis on the vehicle under certain circumstances. 

The court was shown a video of test crashes of various vehicles to recreate crashes, including anatomically correct and weighted crash test dummies for rollovers, T-bone crashes and crushed truck cabs. He was asked to determine the cause and origin of the fire in which Jimmy was found dead.

Loud has a master's degree and works with a firm that conducts hundreds of thousands of investigations. He started his career by working for a company that made black boxes in case of locomotive crashes.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    kuga  |  reshall jimmy  |  cape town
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.