Vehicle Defect Causes Unintended Gear Shifts


Automotive Software Expert WitnessThis case takes place in California and involves a series of incidents involving several different vehicle models from the same manufacturer. The issue in question pertains to the vehicles’ tendency to randomly switch gears at improper and inopportune moments due, in part, to a malfunction in the software and computer systems used by these particular vehicles. The unintended shifts have caused several issues in the affected vehicles, such as transmission damage and other automotive mechanical problems.

 

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you have any specific experience dealing with the affected vehicles?
  • 2. Have you ever served as an expert witness?
  • 3. Are you available to conduct an analysis / inspection of one of the said vehicles? If so, do you possess all necessary computers / instruments needed to evaluate the software / vehicle in question?

Expert Witness Response E-007780

I was part of the team that investigated Toyota’s Engine Control Module to search for software based unintended acceleration. I was the engineer that discovered the principal flaw that was at the center of Toyota settling its class action lawsuit, and also the recent jury verdict in OK that has caused Toyota to recently announce they are entering intensive settlement negotiations. I was the coauthor of an 800 page report that was used in these litigations.

Expert Witness Response E-007818

I do not have previous experience with these particular vehicles; however, I feel comfortable performing the inspection to determine the failure. I can acquire these diagnostic tools necessary for Mercedes, and it should only take an hour or two after installation to get used to. However, if an EDR analysis must be done, I do not have the expertise for this. This falls more in line with a mechanical engineer’s expertise.

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