Photo of a pen and ink blotWas that
Clouseau at Renault?

“So the case is sol-ved”, as
the famously bumbling Inspector Clouseau would say, but it’s hard
to imagine that even he would make such an impressive show of the
investigations of industrial espionage against three blameless
executives, as was made by the management at carmaker Renault. And
the aftermath of their investigation continues to tick under the
company’s senior management like an unexploded ‘beumb’.

In January the company
accused three of its executives of filling foreign bank accounts
with money acquired in exchange for information about the group’s
€4bn electric car programme.

Rather than calling in the
French intelligence service, the company carried out an internal
investigation after receiving a tip-off in an anonymous letter,
leading to the speedy dismissals of all three.

Renault now accepts it has
been the victims of internal manipulation rather than industrial
espionage, and that the alleged bank accounts full of ill-gotten
euros don’t in fact exist.

Renault has pledged to
reintegrate or indemnify the three accused, but is still coming
under fire. The refusal of the chief executive Carlos Ghosn to
accept the resignation of his deputy Patrick Pélata over the fiasco
will not have helped matters.

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Eeeek, there’s a
spider in my Mazda!

Many of us have to cope with
the fears of spouses and family members with severe arachnophobia.
But it’s usually just a question of coaxing the little blighters
our of the bath tub and popping them out of the window.

Japanese car giant Mazda,
however, has saved the brave spider-catchers of North and Central
America a really tricky job by recalling 65,000 Mazda6 vehicles in
the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Apparently, 20 dealers found yellow sac spiders’ webs in a
vent line, which could increase pressure in the fuel tank, leading
to possible cracks and a risk of fire. Imagine the