MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
On September 16, 2010, the undersigned conducted ahearing to consider the following motions: Defendant Ford Motor Company's Motion to Exclude Testimony of Steve Syson (document #67), Defendant Ford Motor Company's Motion to Exclude Testimony of Carley Ward (document #70), Defendant TRW Vehicle Safety System, Inc.'s Motion to Strike Expert Testimony of Carley Ward (document #71), and Defendant TRW Vehicle Safety System, Inc.'s Motion to Strike Expert Testimony of Steve Syson (document #75). At the hearing, the undersigned heard arguments from counsel and denied the motions for the reasons set forth below.
Pursuant to FRE 702, an expert may testify as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education if scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier-of-fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue. FRE 702 requires:
1) the testimony must be based upon sufficient facts or data;
2) the testimony must be the product of reliable principles and methods; and
3) the expert must apply those principles and methods reliably to the facts of the case. Rule 702 is broadly interpreted, and helpfulness to the trier of fact is its "touchstone." Kopf v. Skyrm, 993 F.2d 374, 377 (4th Cir.1993) (citing Friendship Heights Associates v. Koubek, 785 F.2d 1154, 1159 (4th Cir.1986)). Testimony from an expert is presumed to be helpful unless it concerns matters within the everyday knowledge and experience of a lay juror. Id. (citing Persinger v. Norfolk & Western Railway Co., 920 F.2d 1185, 1188 (4th Cir.1990)).
In Daubert,*fn1 the Supreme Court recognized that the trial judge has a gate-keeping role to ensure that expert testimony is relevant and reliable. The Court espoused five non-exclusive, flexible factors that may be considered in deciding whether a proposed expert's methodology is scientifically valid or reliable:
(1) whether the expert's theory can be or has been tested,
(2) whether the theory has been subject to peer review and publication,
(3) the known or potential rate of error of the technique or theory when applied,
(4) the existence and maintenance of standards and controls, and
(5) the degree to which technique or theory has been generally accepted in the scientific community.
Daubert, 509 U.S. at 593-95. The Court must make a "preliminary assessment of whether the reasoning or methodology underlying the testimony is scientifically valid and of whether that reasoning or methodology properly can be applied to the facts in issue." Id. at 592-93. The Daubert factors are not mandatory or exclusive; a court must decide whether the Daubert factors are appropriate, use them as a starting point and then ascertain if other factors should be considered. Hathaway v. Bazany, 507 F.3d 312, 318 (5th Cir.2007). To be admissible, an expert's opinion must be based on sufficient facts and a reliable methodology. Id.
In Kumho Tire,*fn2 the Supreme Court applied the Daubert principles to technical or specialized expert testimony. The Court explained that the overarching goal of Daubert's gate-keeping requirement is to "ensure the reliability and relevancy of expert testimony. It is to make certain an expert, whether basing testimony upon professional studies or personal experience, employs in the courtroom the same level of intellectual rigor that characterizes the practice of an expert in the relevant field." Kumho Tire, 119 S.Ct. at 1176. A trial court has the discretion to exclude expert testimony ...