• Jul 17th 2008 at 4:18PM
  • 18
If you're in France, the phrase caveat emptor can probably be joined by caveat reporter after police raided the French magazine Auto Plus. The po-po were called last August to begin an investigation because the magazine published detailed photos of the coming Renault Megane, which Renault said wasn't supposed to hit showrooms for another three years. The raid was the next step in the Sherlock Holmes treatment.

Renault, of course, says that it is not after the press, it's simply trying to protect its intellectual property. The shots are so clear, and there are so many of them -- including the interior -- that it's obviously an inside job. The press, of course, feels that this is an attack on its freedom. The French press and the French government are engaged in a complicate dance, and this doesn't help things.

The police removed one reporter and a passel of computers. They don't want the reporter, though, they want the source. Auto Plus will have to wait to find out how much of that ever gets returned. But since the photos are out, we might as well take the time to say it's a nifty looking little car.

[Source: Reuters]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      That ain't a half bad looking car. I like it a lot.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Shouldn't Renault be grilling its employees on this one? The mag is just printing what they got (bought?). I realize they're probably just trying to shake down the source... but come on.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @dude
        I hope you know that the Mazda 3 chassie was developt in cologne Germany :p
        • 7 Years Ago
        I thought that Mini invented the hatch.

        :)
        • 7 Years Ago
        That's why the police took the computer. It's useless to grill everyone, for all they know the person has left the company. By looking at the computer records, they can narrow it down to a much smaller list.

        I feel for Renault in this one. That's a serious breech. Now everyone knows that in three years Renault is coming out with a Mazda3 hatchback.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Rocketboy: The BMC Mini wasn't a hatchback, because it had a "proper" boot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        well cause the magazine has to say who sold the pics
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hey Dude, seeing as how Renault almost single-handedly popularized the modern small hatchback in the 60's (the 16) I think you have it the other way around. Yes everyone, that's right, Mazda did not invent the freakin' hatchback.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This smells like something McLaren could be involved in to get even with Renault for their F1 team getting their hands on McLaren floppy disks. Is there no end to the F1 scandals? Will Max Mosley ever find sexual satisfaction? Will Kimi stay or go? Only time will tell.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mazda perfected the freakin hatch, by making it useful & pratical to small families.

      renault also gave us "le car"
      lest we forget.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually the press in France is greatly supressed by the government.

      A wine critic was successfully sued by a vineyard after he called there wine "Vin merde"
      • 7 Years Ago
      If they're not after the magazine, then do they have rights to raiding it? I'd think subpoena would be the standard route. Heck I don't even think the NYTimes office was raided for the Plame affair.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I did it

      but you'll never catch me now!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I suppose their press is a bit less free than ours.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Unfortunately not, it all went down hill when communists took over much of europe about 4 years ago, did your unique free press not cover it?

        But on a serious note think the perpetrators should be seriously punished/imprisoned as this behaviour is just not on.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Excellent work Clouseau...back to your vacation in Gstaad.

      Renault should be happy anyone cares!
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X