A taxi firm in Paris has suspended its fleet of Tesla Model 3 cars after one of its drivers crashed into a cyclist on Saturday (December 11), killing the rider and injuring 20 other people.
According to Reuters, the off-duty taxi driver was taking his family to a restaurant when the incident happened. The driver of the Tesla Model 3 attempted to brake at traffic lights, but the car instead accelerated.
Eyewitness reports of the incident say that the car hit a cyclist and three pedestrians before crashing into a van. Three people remain in critical condition following the crash.
So far, it is not yet clear whether the car was operating in Tesla’s Autopilot Level 2 driver-assist system.
The Reuters report said:
“G7 deputy chief executive, Yann Ricordel, told Reuters the accident occurred while an off-duty taxi driver was taking his family to a restaurant. The driver tried to brake but the car accelerated instead, Ricordel said.
“A police source told Reuters that the car, which had stopped at a red traffic light, suddenly sped forward, hitting and dragging with it a cyclist who later died.”
The driver also reportedly hit other obstacles such as trash cans in an attempt to slow the car down.
Following the incident, taxi firm G7 has suspended its fleet of 37 electrically-charged Tesla Model 3s “as a precaution” while police investigate the crash.
Reuters reports an investigation into the crash has been launched and an investigation into involuntary homicide by the driver.
The news agency quoted a French government spokesperson, who told reporters that as part of the investigation, police in the country have been in contact with Tesla about the incident.
So far, Tesla has told investigators that “there is no technical problem to flag on their vehicles.”
French transport minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari also told RMC radio that he has been in contact with the chief executive of Tesla Europe, who told him there had been no safety alerts concerning the Model 3.
Tesla says it has so far provided all the relevant technical data to officers investigating the crash.