Renault Files Criminal Complaint in Industrial Espionage Case
VOA Breaking News (Voice of America)
January 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm
French auto maker Renault has filed a criminal complaint in the industrial espionage case involving the development of its all-electric cars.
The company filed the complaint Thursday with the Paris prosecutor “against persons unknown,” a common tactic in French legal affairs.
After a months-long internal investigation, Renault last week suspended three executives in the case. The company alleged that they deliberately endangered its assets by leaking information about the four electric models Renault plans to introduce in the next year.
The auto maker held a disciplinary hearing for the three executives this week as a prelude to firing them. All three have denied the company's charges.
It is not clear who wanted the information about the cars that Renault is developing with its Japanese partner, Nissan. French authorities are looking into possible Chinese involvement, a link that Beijing has dismissed as “baseless and irresponsible.”
Auto manufacturers throughout the world are seeking to gain a foothold in the all-electric car market. They view the vehicles as more environmentally friendly than traditional cars with internal combustion engines powered by gasoline.
The all-electric vehicles can typically be driven about 160 kilometers before their batteries need to be recharged.
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