Woman Called Zoe Renault to Sue French Carmaker over Name Issue

A Parisian woman called Zoe Renault is trying to stop the French automaker from using her name on a new model: the electric car Renault Zoe Z.E. (zero emissions).

According to the Guardian, the 23-year-old student, who has no direct family link to the company’s founders, has even hired a lawyer specialising in the protection of first names to assist her in the matter.

Lawyer David Koubbi points out that there are about 30,000 people in France called Zoe and that none of them are likely to enjoy sharing their name with an electric supermini. The lawyer has written to Renault’s chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, insisting the naming of the car represent an attack on the rights of his clients.

"You will easily understand that, having maturely reflected on the first name they wish to give their child, parents cannot tolerate seeing this first name made commonplace and used for marketing," Koubbi wrote in his letter.

Zoe Renault told Le Parisien newspaper that she did not want to be associated all her life with a vehicle. "It would be unbearable for me to hear 'the Zoé has broken down', 'we have to get the Zoé overhauled' or 'so and so killed themselves in a Zoé'," she said.

Apparently Zoe Renault is not the only one worried by the name of Renault’s EV. Many families have reportedly denounced the plan and have launched petitions to stop it. A spokesman for Renault said the company was committed to the name, but that it was the name of a concept car and not a definitive choice.
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