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Mechanical Defect Found In Runaway Toyota

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After being imprisoned for manslaughter, a Minnesota man is asking for a new trial after an expert found a mechanical problem that caused the throttle cable to become stuck and evidence that the driver was applying the brakes at the time of the crash.

From ABC News:

From the ABC News online report:

After inspecting Lee’s 1996 Camry, Richard F. Dusek, the Michigan-based expert hired by Hilliard and co-counsel Brent Schafer, has filed an official report stating that the vehicle’s throttle cable was stuck and could have held the throttle open, and that analysis of the rear brake light shows that the brakes were depressed at the time of the crash. Lee has always said that his brakes were not working and his accelerator was stuck on the Sunday afternoon in June 2006 when he plowed into a St. Paul intersection at more than 70 MPH and struck another car.

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Inspection experts for the County Attorney’s office – Wade Barrett and Frank Sonye, Jr. — have not yet released their findings and Gustafson said he did not know when their report would be ready. In his report, Dusek wrote, "The accelerator-to-engine throttle cable and pulley system does not move freely, stays stuck, and does not return to idle position. … This could have held the throttle open after the accelerator pedal was released for a braking maneuver."

Toyota just paid a record fine stemming from its sudden acceleration problem. You can see our full coverage of the Toyota sudden acceleration problem at our safety blog.

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