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Paris’ largest taxi firm suspends tesla cars after fatal crash

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Paris’ largest taxi firm, G7, has suspended the use of Tesla Model 3 cars in 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, which has self-driving features such as automatic steering.

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

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.

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