Sebastien Loeb has lost his chance of a home victory in France after his Citroen stopped on only the third stage of the event.
The World Rally Champion had led his home rally after SS2, but an engine problem forced him to retire on the following Pays d'Ormont stage.
Loeb's championship lead over Mikko Hirvonen had already been reduced to 15 points after the Frenchman crashed in Australia, making today's problem another threat to his title bid, although Hirvonen lost time on SS3 with a quick trip off the road and is now 56.6sec off the lead.
Sebastien Ogier leads the event in the remaining works Citroen, ahead of Petter Solberg in the Solberg Citroen.
Jari-Matti Latvala also went off on SS3 in the second Ford, losing just over a minute.