A taxi firm in Paris has suspended the use of Tesla Model 3 cars in its fleet after one of the vehicles was involved in an accident which killed one person and injured 20 others.
G7 said it would halt the use of 37 of its Tesla vehicles until a police investigation had been completed into Saturday’s accident in the French capital.
Sources close to the investigation said three people were in a serious condition in hospital.
According to French media reports, the car collided with a cyclist, three pedestrians and a van.
Transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari said on Wednesday there was currently no suggestion the incident was linked to a technical problem with the vehicle.
The minister told RMC radio he had spoken with the chief executive of Tesla Europe, who he said had told him there had been no safety alerts about that model.
Tesla has not responded to requests for comment – but the US group has indicated it would share details with the French authorities if any requests were made.
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The deputy chief executive at G7, Yann Ricordel, said an off-duty taxi driver was taking his family to a restaurant when the accident happened.
He said the driver had tried to brake but the car instead accelerated. It was unclear if the car was operating in autopilot mode.
Suspension is for ‘safety of drivers, customers and other road users’
Mr Ricordel also cited Tesla as saying on Monday that an initial inquiry had ruled out a technical dysfunction of the vehicle.
He added: “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 on its vehicles and has used such information in the past to challenge claims that accidents were caused by malfunctioning technology.
G7 is one of the biggest taxi companies in Paris, with 9,000 affiliated drivers who are independent operators and own their vehicles.
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