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Leading Paris taxi firm suspends use of Tesla vehicles after fatal accident

Taxi firm G7 said it was suspending the use of 37 Tesla Model 3 cars as a "precautionary measure" following Saturday's incident.

A leading Paris taxi company has suspended its use of Tesla Model 3 cars following a deadly accident involving one of the vehicles over the weekend.

In a statement, Taxi firm G7 said it would be suspending the use of 37 Tesla Model 3 cars in its fleet until a police probe into the Saturday incident was complete.

Initial findings have suggested that the accident was not caused by technical issues, G7's leadership and France's transport minister have said.

In a statement released through its public relations representation Rumeur Publique, G7 said it was "amazed to learn of the terrible accident that occurred on Saturday evening in Paris which involved a taxi driver."

The company said the taxi driver was not on duty at the time of the accident and had been traveling privately with his family.

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According to French media, the vehicle hit at least two pedestrians before hitting a van.

In a statement, the Paris prosecutor's office said at least one person was killed, with 20 others injured, including several people with serious injuries.

It said an investigation into charges of manslaughter and unintentional injury was opened on Saturday.

In its statement, G7 did not appear to make any reference to the fatality, saying: "Miraculously, the people transported escaped unharmed."

"We have a thought for each injured person as well as for their loved ones," it said.

The company said the decision to suspend its use of the Tesla Model 3 vehicles was taken as a "precautionary measure...pending the progress of the investigation."

It said G7 would support all drivers affected by the decision and ensure they were compensated "for the loss of business...during the suspension period."

G7 Deputy Chief Executive Yann Ricordel said an initial inquiry by Tesla had ruled out the possibility of a technical dysfunction being behind Saturday's incident, according to Reuters.

On Wednesday, French Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbari also said there were no indications at this point that the fatal accident was caused by a technical fault.

“There are no elements that would lead one to believe it was tied to a technical problem,” Djebbari told RMC radio.

Tesla collects data from the sensors and cameras on its vehicles and has used that information in the past to challenge claims blaming technical faults for accidents.

The company's assistive "Autopilot" technology allows vehicles to automatically take on driving functions, including steering, accelerating and braking.

Drivers are expected to maintain control over the vehicles while using the technology, however.

Tesla is led by Elon Musk, who was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2021 earlier this week.