Tesla told France there was no sign of technical failure in Paris crash, government says


PARIS, Dec. 15 (Reuters) – Tesla (TSLA.O) told the French government that there was no indication that a technical failure could have caused a fatal accident in Paris involving a Tesla taxi (TSLA.O) Model 3, a government spokesperson said Wednesday.

Parisian taxi company G7 suspended the use of the 37 Model 3 cars in its fleet after an accident on Saturday involving one of its drivers in which one person was killed and 20 injured.

Three people are in serious condition, according to a person close to the investigation. Read more

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“We have been in contact, of course, with the management of Tesla and they have told us that there are no technical issues to report on their vehicles,” government spokesman Gabriel told reporters. Attal.

He added that the government was awaiting the outcome of the ongoing judicial inquiry.

Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari told RMC radio that he had spoken to the chief executive of Tesla Europe, who told him that there had been no safety alerts regarding the Model 3.

He added that the automaker, which collects detailed data from sensors and cameras on its vehicles, informed him that it had provided the relevant technical data to investigators.

Tesla, which is at the forefront of the electric and autonomous vehicle revolution and has a market value of nearly $ 1,000 billion, did not respond to requests for comment.

G7 deputy chief executive Yann Ricordel told Reuters the crash happened as a taxi driver on leave 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 light, suddenly accelerated, colliding and dragging with it a cyclist who later died.

The driver attempted to stop the vehicle by heading towards surrounding obstacles, including trash cans, causing further damage, the police source said, citing the driver’s own version of events, witnesses and CCTV.

It was not clear whether the car was running in Tesla’s Autopilot mode, which handles certain driving tasks. The driver tested negative on the blood alcohol test, the police source said.

A judicial source said that an investigation into the manslaughter of the driver had been opened.

Video of the scene obtained by Reuters showed the wreckage of a black Tesla and debris strewn across the street. The left side of the vehicle crumpled, the left front wheel collapsed, and the windshield shattered.

The car appears to have collided with a white pickup truck, which sustained damage to the front. Other images circulating on social media showed members of the public caring for injured and shocked passers-by as a result of the crash.

Tesla boss Elon Musk was named 2021 Person of the Year by both Time and the Financial Times for sparking a historic shift in the auto industry towards electric vehicles, and also sending rockets in orbit with its space company.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the U.S. auto safety regulator, said in August it had sent teams to review 31 Tesla crashes involving 10 fatalities since 2016 where it suspected the use of advanced systems to ‘driving assistance.

He ruled out autopilot in three of the crashes.

Musk has repeatedly championed autopilot and tweeted in April that “Tesla with autopilot on now has a 10 times lower crash risk than an average vehicle.”

Tesla advises drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and be careful when using the autopilot.

(History is passed on to read “the” (not “their”), paragraph 5)

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Additional reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Gilles Guillaume in Paris, David Shepardson in Washington; written by Richard Lough and Silvia Aloisi; edited by Jason Neely

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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