Paris Taxi Firm Pulls Tesla Fleet after Fatal Crash

A fleet of Tesla Model 3 cars have been suspended for use by the largest ride-hailing company in Paris following a fatal accident.

The reports that one person was killed and 20 others injured when an off-duty driver for the taxi operator G7 lost control of his car. G7 has now pulled its fleet of 37 Model 3 cars off the road pending the outcome of investigations. The accident happened while the driver was taking his family to a restaurant on the weekend. French media said the vehicle struck two pedestrians, a traffic light and a van.

Tesla cars are fitted with its advanced Autopilot self-driving features but the automaker has already denied that there were any technical issues with the vehicle. On Wednesday, France’s Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari also said there was no suggestion, at this stage, that the accident was linked to a technical problem.

Tesla Europe’s chief executive told the minister there had been no safety alerts about the model when they spoke on Tuesday night. However, Paris prosecutors have opened an investigation into charges of manslaughter and unintentional injury.

Tesla is already facing mounting criticism of its marketing of Autopilot which many believe misleads consumers into using it as a fully autonomous vehicle, a misconception that has led to several fatal accidents around the world, most notably in the US. In August, authorities opened an official investigation into Autopilot system, following 11 Tesla crashes since 2018 involving emergency vehicles.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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