"Our sense of collective shame is boundless," opined CEO Akio Toyoda. "We believed we had realized our vision of a green future. We were as surprised as anyone to find 250cc's of two-cylindar greasy aluminum under the hood."
Early owner reports of whining, banging, and clouds of dense, oily smoke were initially discounted as driver confusion.
Michelle Le Tey, 29, of the Temescal area reports "At first I thought the smell was just secondhand smoke from drunken mendicants smoking closer than 25 feet from the Whole Foods parking garage entrance. Now I realize that my neighbor's dirty looks over the last year were about more than poorly expressed envy and resentment."
"I thought I was doing the smart thing buying that car," says Steve Grabbola, 42, of San Francisco. "Now I find out I've blown my lifetime carbon allotment. What will I tell my wife?"
Following recent issues with gas pedals, brakes, and pornographic videos playing unexpectedly on the rear view video system this revelation could not come at a worse time.
A Toyota spokesperson said there was as yet no fix. "Numerous directions are being explored, including low carbon coal, cold nuclear fusion, and something with a crank. We really don't have a car anymore. We view this as an opportunity to innovate."
The costs to driver health, self-esteem, and social standing are unknown, but are sure to be enormous.
"When I found out my Prius wasn't green," says Ms. Le Tey, "I wondered what's next? My floor cleaner? My shampoo? Yoga?"