Parisian taxi company suspends use of Tesla cars after fatal crash

PARIS, December 14 (Reuters) – Paris’ leading taxi company G7 has suspended the use of Tesla (TSLA.O) Model 3 cars in its fleet after a fatal crash involving one of the vehicles over the weekend.

G7 deputy general manager Yann Ricordel said a taxi driver on leave was taking his family to a restaurant when the accident happened on Saturday night.

The accident left one dead, two sources said on Tuesday. Twenty others were injured, said one of those close to the investigation, adding that three were in serious condition.

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According to French media, the car struck a cyclist and three pedestrians before hitting a van, and seven people were seriously injured.

The G7 has said it will suspend the use of 37 Tesla Model 3 cars in its fleet until a police investigation into the case is completed.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ricordel quoted Tesla as saying on Monday that an initial investigation had ruled out a technical malfunction of the vehicle. The G7 executive said the driver tried to brake but the car accelerated instead. It was not clear if the car was running on autopilot.

Jérôme Coumet, mayor of the 13th arrondissement of Paris, said on Twitter: “The first elements of the investigation indicated that the accelerator would have stalled”.

Ricordel said: “Today we have two divergent views on the matter. We will maintain the suspension of the Tesla Model 3 for the duration of the investigation, as a safety measure for our drivers, customers and other road users. the road.”

Tesla collects detailed data from its vehicles’ sensors and cameras and has used that data in the past to dispute claims that crashes were caused by technology malfunction.

Ricordel said owners of Tesla Model 3 in its fleet will be fully compensated for lost earnings during the suspension and that the company is looking for alternatives so that drivers can resume driving for G7 as soon as possible.

He said the G7 was in contact with the government pending the outcome of the police investigation.

G7 is one of the largest taxi companies in Paris, with 9,000 affiliated drivers, who are independent operators who own their vehicles. Half of G7’s fleet is made up of electric or hybrid vehicles and the company aims for a 100% green fleet by 2027.

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Report by Geert De Clercq and Alain Acco; Additional reporting by Silvia Aloisi, Joe White and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Jan Harvey, Bernadette Baum and Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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