Renault in row with student over name

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A Parisian woman called Zoe Renault is trying to stop the French car-maker from using her name on one of its new models. The 23-year-old student was so angry when she heard that Renault was planning to launch the electric car Renault Zoe ZE in 2012 that she instructed her lawyers to ask Renault to abandon the brand.

She is worried that her name will be taken in vain. "I could not bear to hear: 'Zoe's broken down' or 'So-and-so was killed in their Zoe'," she told newspaper Le Parisien. "I don't want people laughing while they read my CV." Her lawyer, David Koubbi, who is also representing other Zoes concerned by the moniker for the car, sent a letter to the chief executive of Renault, Carlos Ghosn, asking the company to change the name. He appealed to Mr Ghosn to be "responsible". "My clients consider this step as a violation of their personalities," he said.

If the company does not change the intended name, Mr Koubbi said he will take the case to court. A spokesman for Renault said: "We can understand the concerns of Ms Renault. Zoe is, at the moment, the name of the conceptual design of the car, rather than a definitive choice." In 1999, a family named Renaud went to court to win the right to call their child Mégane. The French state warned it would be prejudicial to her future because it was too similar to the car model, but this was overruled by a court.