A Renault espionage scandal that turned into an espionage hoax scandal soaked up four months of people's lives in early 2011 and resulted in the resignation of company COO Patrick Pelata. An informant with some bad information who was paid €250,000 told Renault that three executives had sold electric vehicle technology to the Chinese and were laundering their money in secret accounts in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Renault fired the executives, and when the whole thing began to fall apart and it looked like Renault would have to admit it made a huge mistake in doing so, rumor was that COO Patrick Pelata said he would 'take the fall' to protect CEO Carlos Ghosn.
Renault did eat crow, Pelata submitted his resignation, then Ghosn rejected it but the company accepted it, and Pelata was given an advisory job reporting to Ghosn on Renault-Nissan alliance projects. Got all that? Well, now Automotive News reports Pelata has resigned from the alliance, meaning that as of August 16 he will no longer be with any part of the company he had been an employee of for 28 years. It is unclear where he is headed.