SAN FRANCISCO — The federal criminal trial of former Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain will undoubtedly be heavy on accounting jargon and financial details as it unwinds over the next couple of months in U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer’s courtroom.

But at opening arguments Monday, lawyers on both sides of the case leaned on simple automotive metaphors to describe the ill-fated 2011 deal at the heart of the case where Hewlett-Packard acquired Autonomy for $11 billion.