'Toyota Defense' Might Rescue Minnesota Man In Jail For Crash

Ever since his 1996 Toyota Camry plowed into the back of an Oldsmobile and killed three people, a Minnesota man has insisted he did everything he could to stop.

A jury didn't believe him, and a judge sentenced him to eight years in prison.

Now new revelations of safety problems with Toyotas have Koua Fong Lee pressing to get his case reopened.

Relatives of the victims now believe he's innocent. And the prosecutor who sent Lee to prison agrees the case merits another look.

Lee's accident is among a growing number of cases -- some long resolved -- getting new attention amid the focus on Toyota's safety record.

Toyota declined to comment on his case.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by Marc Location: Washington on Feb 25, 2010 at 04:14 PM
    Toyota has been outstanding in responce to this issue. They stopped their production and sales and put their customers first for repair parts. I lived through the Ford cruise switch fire recall and the Firestone tire issue where Ford tried to blame it all on Firestone when GM was stepping right up to the problem on Tahoe, Yukon and Suburban. The Fords had all the roll overs. This list of recalls has been an issue since the '70s. The difference is how the manufactors handle them. The Toyotas not built in this country aren't having the problem. What does that say? I'm proud of Toyota. I own a 2010 and no before you ask yourself, I don't work for Toyota.
  • by me Location: enc on Feb 25, 2010 at 02:27 PM
    fords chevys and gmcs use the same accelorators that they toyotas do, ford has decided to recall 50,000 at a time, chevy and gmc havent even planned to recall yet however they do have a large recal on a steering issue to resolve. i say kudos to toyota for recalling and fixing all the vehicles at one time rather than doing it little by little or nothing at all
  • by pee dee Location: jacksonville on Feb 25, 2010 at 10:29 AM
    I believe Ford was called to Congress over the Explorer's rolling over a lot. The problem Toyota is in is that they knew of the issues and tried for a couple of years to cover it up. If they had been quicker to recall the vehicles, they probably would not be in front of congress. Toyota is not a bad company, but their cars are not as great as they would have you think they are. Did you know that they recalled more vehicles than they sold in 2005? Or that they recalled nearly 800,000 cars in the month of July 2006? The recalls and issues have been there, but no one ever put it on the front page until now.
  • by Ron Location: Merritt, NC on Feb 25, 2010 at 08:42 AM
    If a car suddenly accelerates, all the driver has to do put the shift lever into neutral and shut off the ignition. I can't understand how all these accidents happened. Also, has Congress ever held hearings about recalls for other car companies? It seems to me that Toyota is being unfairly targeted in an effort to harm the company financially.
  • by Curious Location: Plymouth on Feb 25, 2010 at 06:23 AM
    Sometimes an Ace should be a Deuce.
  • by ace Location: plymouth on Feb 25, 2010 at 05:25 AM
    Over and over again I read "The car accelerated". If the floor mat jammed the accelerator pedal or the pedal stuck it seem logical that the automobile would continue at the same speed not accelerate. SOMEBODY IS NOT TELLING THE TRUTH!
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