Polish aftermarket tuning company Carlex Design came under fire recently after it debuted a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat it had modified with elephant skin leather seats and interior trim.
The public’s attention was turned towards Carlex’s questionably equipped Hellcat after AutoEvolution wrote about the car last week. As they reported, Carlex applied elephant leather to the Hellcat’s seats, replaced the door trim with charred sculpted wood trim and installed a new engraved silver steering wheel.
Shortly after some began to take notice of the availability of elephant skin leather in Carlex’s repertoire, it removed mentioned of it on its SRT Hellcat page on its website. The company soon responded to the public outrage, claiming the elephant skin it used was acquired through legal means.
“On behalf of Carlex Design company we would like to inform you that all the leathers used by Carlex Design in car interiors’ implementations possess all necessary and required by law certificates,” the statement read. “Especially when it comes to the leathers sourced from animals not considered as farmed, each and every supplier that cooperates with Carlex Design is required to provide appropriate paperwork to certify their origin based on the applicable European law regulations.”
Not surprisingly, that response did little to curb the outrage. Carlex later hopped back online to apologize once more, but this time committed to not using the leathers of endangered species in its custom car projects from here on out.
Unfortunately, some damage had already been done. Carlex’s image definitely took a hit, and according to Snopes, some people thought the elephant skin leather SRT Hellcat was the work of Dodge itself. The Hellcat may be a bit damaging to the environment, but we’re happy to say Dodge would never use an endangered species to source its leathers.