A 1980s project that dumped 25,000 tyres into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of the French Riviera to create an artificial reef is being dismantled after researchers found the tyres were leaking chemicals, including dangerous heavy metals, into the environment.
But company says departures at its historic factory at Clermont-Ferrand will not be compulsory and it will invest millions of euros in site.
Hundreds of taxi drivers took to the streets of Paris, burning car tyres and blocking routes to the capital’s principal airports in major protest.
François Michelin, who ran the family business for 47 years, was the grandson of Edouard Michelin, who founded the tyre firm in 1889.
News of tightening of checks on Titan tyres comes after row last month in which the US firms's CEO Maurice Taylor mocked France's work ethics.
Minister Arnaud Montebourg blasts Maurice Taylor's "insulting" note as "extremist" and "demonstrating a "perfect ignorance of our country".