Southern California environment news and trends

Too hot: recall of the world’s coolest hybrid car for fire hazard already handled

It’s a story of inspiration that will make for a great bio-pic someday: former BMW designer and current entrepreneur Henrik Fisker was watching the 2007 Academy Awards ceremony on TV when he was struck by the sight of Leonardo DiCaprio showing up to the grand fete in a Prius.

“He could have bought any car in the world,” Fisker told Reuters back in 2009, “and I remember seeing that on television and thinking to myself, you know, when you’ve got a guy who could buy any Ferrari or Rolls Royce and he’s buying a Prius, you know something is changing dramatically.”

It was from that moment of inspiration that Fisker was moved to create the appropriately named Karma (pictured above), designed to be the world’s premier high-end luxury hybrid vehicle. Once Fisker began production on the cars, he quickly racked up 3,000 preorders, despite the base price range of $90,000. To show his appreciation, the first vehicle to roll down the assembly was promised to DiCaprio. The second and third cars were earmarked for none less than Al Gore and Colin Powell. When DiCaprio hit the streets in his Karma for the first time in August of last year, it made celebrity and environmental news around the world. In December, British automotive magazine Top Gear named the Karma both Luxury Car and Car of the Year for 2011.