The most prominent taxi firm in Paris, G7, pulled its 37 Tesla Model 3 cars from roads after an off-duty taxi driver lost control of one of the cars, colliding with a cyclist and three pedestrians before smashing into a van.
YannRicordel, G7 Deputy Chief Executive, said the off-duty taxi driver was driving his family to a restaurant when the accident took place on Saturday evening.
The accident killed one person. One of the people close to the investigation said that twenty others were wounded, adding that three were in serious condition.
Ricordel cited the electric car company, Tesla, as saying that an initial inquiry into the accident vehicle had ruled out a technical malfunction in the car. The G7 executive reported that the driver had tried to brake, but the Tesla electric car instead accelerated. It was unclear if the electric vehicle was operating in Autopilot mode.
Jerome Coumet, mayor of Paris’ 13th arrondissement, tweeted, saying the first elements of the investigation indicated that the accelerator might have gotten stuck.
Tesla collects detailed data from the cameras and the sensors in its vehicles and has used such data in the past to challenge claims that accidents were caused by a technical malfunctioning in its electric cars.
Ricordel said the Tesla Model 3 owners in its fleet would be fully compensated during the suspension period. The taxi company G7 was looking for alternatives so drivers could resume driving for the company as soon as possible.