Paris taxi company stops using Tesla cars after fatal accident

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

G7̵[ads1]7;s Deputy CEO Yann Ricordel said that a taxi driver who was at work took his family to a restaurant when the accident happened on Saturday night.

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

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According to reports from French media, the car hit a cyclist and three pedestrians before it crashed into a van, and seven people were seriously injured.

G7 said they would suspend the use of 37 Tesla Model 3 vehicles in the fleet until the police investigation of 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 in the vehicle. The G7 commander said the driver had tried to brake, but the car accelerated instead. It was unclear if the car was in autopilot mode.

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

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

Tesla collects detailed data from the sensors and cameras of its vehicles and has used such data in the past to challenge allegations that accidents were caused by malfunctioning technology.

Ricordel said that the Tesla Model 3 owners in its fleet would be fully compensated for lost revenue during the suspension, and that the company was looking for alternatives so that drivers could resume driving the G7 as soon as possible.

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

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

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

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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