Paris taxi firm suspends use of Tesla Model 3 cars after accident By Reuters3 min read

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is shown in this picture illustration taken in Moscow, Russia July 23, 2020. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

By Geert De Clercq

PARIS (Reuters) -Leading Paris taxi company G7 has suspended the use of all Tesla (NASDAQ:) Model 3 cars in its fleet after a serious accident involving one of the vehicles over the weekend, it said on Tuesday.

A company executive said it would suspend the use of 37 Tesla Model 3 cars in its fleet until a police investigation into the case is completed.

G7 Deputy Chief Executive Yann Ricordel told Reuters the taxi driver, who was off-duty at the time of the incident, was taking his family to a restaurant when the accident happened on Saturday evening.

According to French media reports, the car had hit a cyclist and three pedestrians before hitting a van, and that seven people had been seriously injured.

Ricordel cited Tesla as saying on Monday that an initial inquiry had ruled out a technical dysfunction of the vehicle.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

“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,” Ricordel said.

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

Tesla shares were down 3.5% in U.S. trading, while the was down 2%.

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

Ricordel said that G7 was in contact with the government as it awaited the outcome of the police investigation.

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

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