Toyota in fatal St. Paul crash to be inspected in Aprilby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Toyota Camry that was involved in a 2006 crash that resulted in three deaths will be inspected next month to determine if its accelerator was defective.
The Ramsey County Attorney's Office said Monday that the inspection would take place the week of April 19 and will be conducted by two experts.
The driver of the Camry, Koua Fong Lee, has been in prison since being convicted in 2007 of criminal vehicular homicide in the crash.
Lee's attorney has hired an expert, who will work with a forensic mechanical engineer hired by Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner to conduct the inspection. Gaertner has also requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration participate in the inspection.
Lee's attorney and attorneys for the victims' families have asked that he be released from prison, based on reports of Toyota defects and recalls related to sudden acceleration.
Lee's 1996 Camry was not part of the recent recall, but his attorneys argue older models also had problems.
In a statement released on Friday, Gaertner said she had a "helpful meeting" Monday with police, Lee's attorneys and experts and family members of victims in the crash.
"This is an important step toward gathering the evidence we need to determine whether any defects may have contributed to the crash. We need the facts so we can act accordingly," Gaertner said.
Lee's attorneys plan to file a motion seeking a new trial or release from custody.
(MPR reporter Madeleine Baran contributed to this report.)