Paris’ largest taxi firm suspends Tesla Model 3 cars after fatal crash

Interior of Model 3 Tesla

Paris’ largest taxi firm, G7, has suspended Model 3 Teslas from its fleet, after one was involved in a fatal accident over the weekend.

One person was killed and another 20 injured, after a driver lost control of the vehicle. Tesla has denied any technical problem with the car, after checking its data remotely.

Paris prosecutors have opened an investigation into charges of manslaughter and unintentional injury.

The accident involved an off-duty taxi driver who had been taking his family to a restaurant, reports say. French media said the vehicle struck two pedestrians, a traffic light and a van.

Tesla’s assistive technology allows its vehicles to automatically steer, accelerate and brake.

But the firm has been accused of being misleading, since the technology does not automatically drive the car, and drivers are required to maintain control and attention at all times.

Tesla has marketed the feature as an “Autopilot” and promised “full self-driving”, which is now available to some users in a beta version.

Users have abused the system frequently in the past, with examples ranging from using their phones while the car drives unattended to switching car seats and leaving no driver at the wheel.

Earlier this year, US authorities opened an official investigation into Autopilot system, following 11 Tesla crashes since 2018 involving emergency vehicles.

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