PARIS – Former auto titan Carlos Ghosn, currently under house arrest in Tokyo, is suing Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in a Dutch court for “improper termination” of his contract, French newspaper Le Figaro reported Wednesday.
Ghosn is accusing the Japanese manufacturers of breaching his contract as an employee of NMBV, their joint subsidiary based in the Netherlands, and is seeking up to €15 million (¥1.82 billion) in damages, the report said.
The big-spending former chief of both Renault and its partner Nissan is awaiting trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.
He was kept behind bars for over 100 days before being granted bail, and fired from all his management roles.
Ghosn is accused of underreporting billions of yen in income at Nissan and of using company funds for personal expenses — charges he denies.
His lawyers argue that while Ghosn resigned from Renault-Nissan BV (RNBV), he had not resigned from NMBV and that “the breach of contract” was unwarranted, Le Figaro said.
Nissan and Mitsubishi argue that Ghosn’s contract was invalid, according to the daily.
NMBV had thanked Ghosn after a meeting of his board of directors on March 12 — the same day as the announcement of its dissolution.
Ghosn’s spokesperson and his lawyer both declined to comment.
Le Figaro said the manufacturers were seeking to recover some €7.82 million paid to Ghosn by NMBV between April and November 2018.
Renault announced in early June it was considering taking action against its former boss after it identified €11 million of “questionable expenses” linked to Ghosn at RNBV.
The 65-year-old Ghosn was arrested after he arrived at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on his private jet last November.
His dramatic downfall stunned the business world, and laid bare tensions in the alliance between Renault, Nissan and their smaller Japanese partner Mitsubishi.
Ghosn has not been charged in connection with his activities at NMBV.