A Paris taxi driver files a complaint against Tesla after a fatal accident

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PARIS — A Paris taxi driver whose Tesla Model 3 crashed in December, killing one person, has filed a complaint against the American automaker, his lawyer announced on Sunday.

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The French government said in the days following the crash that Tesla told it there was no immediate indication of a technical fault.

Sarah Saldmann said her client filed a criminal complaint with the Versailles prosecutor’s office on Friday alleging that Tesla had “endangered the lives of others”.

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Tesla did not respond to an emailed request for comment.

The off-duty taxi driver’s Tesla ripped through metal poles, a row of pay bikes and a glass-filled recycling bin, hitting pedestrians and a pickup truck before finally coming to a stop, witnesses to the crash said.

The unnamed taxi driver told police after the crash that the car accelerated on its own and he was unable to apply the brakes.

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Saldmann declined to comment when asked if the lawsuit was filed based on investigators’ as-yet-unpublished initial findings.

In addition to the death, three people were seriously injured and 17 others injured in the accident which occurred in the 13th arrondissement of the French capital in a street lined with bars, restaurants and shops.

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The taxi driver is under official investigation for manslaughter but has not been charged. He tested negative on a blood alcohol test after the crash.

The Versailles prosecutor’s office will now decide whether Tesla has a case to answer.

Tesla collects detailed data from its vehicles’ sensors and cameras and has used that data in the past to challenge claims that crashes were caused by faulty technology.

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