A court case that has gripped many in France has ended with the claims made against the company by descendents of Louis Renault thrown out by a judge.

The family members had brought a suit against the French state, claiming that the government's action in seizing the firm in 1945 was illegal.

Renault's founder was accused of having collaborated with the occupying forces of the Third Reich in wartime France. His company was forcibly nationalised at the end of the war. Louis Renault died in jail weeks after Paris was liberated from the Nazis, before he could be tried for collaboration.

The seven grandchildren of Renault's founder who pursued today's French government told a reporter for Agence France Presse that they will appeal the decision.