Why not a VW or an Audi?

Premium brands of sneakers can be pretty pricey, right? But would you pay $2,639 for a pair? You might if you were Michael Herzog. No, he's not a 7-foot pro basketball player who needs maximum comfort and durability because of the demands of his job; he makes his living as a traveling salesman. But he's big enough that he wears a size 12 shoe. And this is why he is in the news. Well, plus the fact that the leather shoes he prefers are too big for the pedals of his new car.

The Wiesloch, Germany, resident had bought a Volvo C70 convertible, a model that, according to its maker, offers "ultrahigh-strength steel for side and rear energy absorption protection [and] pop-up roll bars." What it doesn't offer, apparently, is enough room around the accelerator for feet the size of Herzog's. So he took his complaint to court.

And earlier this month, a judge ruled that a size 12 shoe isn't "abnormally" large, ordering Volvo and its local dealer to pay a 5 percent rebate of the purchase price, with the money going for specially designed sneakers that would fit on the pedals. Some of the settlement also is supposed to compensate for the minutes it takes the plaintiff to remove the sneakers and put on his regular shoes each time he arrives to meet a client. Whether Herzog noticed this problem before he bought the car has not been reported.

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