By Richard Lough
PARIS (Reuters) – A Paris taxi driver whose Tesla Model 3 crashed in December, killing one person, has filed a legal complaint against the U.S. carmaker, his lawyer said on Sunday.
The French government said in the days after the accident that Tesla had told it that there was no immediate indication of a technical fault.
Sarah Saldmann said her client had on Friday filed a criminal complaint with public prosecutors in Versailles alleging that Tesla had "put the lives of others in danger".
Tesla did not respond to an emailed request for comment.
The off-duty taxi driver's Tesla ploughed through metal posts, a row of pay-to-ride bicycles and a recycling bin full of glass, hitting pedestrians and a van before finally coming to a halt, witnesses said of the accident.
The taxi driver, who has not been named, told police after the accident that the car had accelerated on its own and that he was unable to activate the brakes.
Saldmann declined to comment when asked if the complaint had been made on the basis of the still-unpublished initial conclusions from investigators.
In addition to the fatality, three people were seriously hurt and another 17 injured in the accident in the 13th arrondissement of the French capital on a street lined with bars, restaurants and shops.
The taxi driver is under formal investigation for manslaughter but has not been charged. He tested negative in an alcohol test after the accident.
The public prosecutor's office in Versailles will now decide whether Tesla has a case to answer.
Tesla collects detailed data from the sensors and cameras on its vehicles and has used such data in the past to challenge claims that accidents were caused by malfunctioning technology.
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