Electronics expert testifies in fatal Ford Kuga case

Reshall Jimmy died after his Ford Kuga SUV caught fire in the Southern Cape in December 2015.

A stripped-down replica of a Ford Kuga is examined at the Western Cape High Court on 20 May 2019 for the inquest into Reshall Jimmy's death. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A fire and electronics expert has taken the stand during an inquest into the death of a man whose Ford Kuga SUV caught alight.

Reshall Jimmy died after his vehicle caught fire in the Southern Cape in December 2015.

His family believed an electrical defect caused the blaze that claimed his life.

The Ford Motor Company acquired the services of fire and electronics expert John Loud to probe circumstances surrounding Jimmy's death.

Loud said he was tasked with evaluating the electrical system of the vehicle, to determine the origin and cause of the fire, and was also asked to review the police docket and evidence obtained.

He said: “When you start a vehicle fire with a small flame, it doesn’t instantly engulf the passenger compartment and start having large flames coming out, it takes a long time for that fire to develop.”

He also testified about the scientific methodology followed during his investigation.

Loud said four examples of the Ford Kuga Ecoboost vehicle Jimmy died in were used during his investigation.