Lean Year for Hollywood's Favorite Green Machine

Prius troubles not prompting a vehicle change

By Yvonne Beltzer and Ted Chen
|  Wednesday, Feb 10, 2010  |  Updated 8:30 AM PDT
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Green Celebrities

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Feb. 3, 2010: A row of brand new Toyota Prius' sit on the sales lot at City Toyota in Daly City, Calif.

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Prius Still a Star in Hollywood

Loyalty to the Prius remains strong among Hollywood stars.

Prius Owner Describes Brake Problem as Beleaguered Toyota Faces More Lawsuits

Evidence mounts that Toyota safety vulnerabilities go beyond entrapping floor mats and sticky gas pedals. NBCLA's Patrick Healy speaks with a Prius owner who says her brakes cut out on her twice.
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It's been the vehicle of choice for Hollywood's environmentally minded stars. But now, Toyota is adding a recall of its best-selling Prius Hybrids to its troubles.

So will the greenest stars still climb into these hybrids for all important red carpet arrivals like the Academy Awards?

Oscar nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal has favored the Prius, as has Cameron Diaz. Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart arrived at last year's Oscars in a Prius.

They are trophy cars for people who are proud to be green.

No one more so than actor Ed Begley.  He and his wife both own Prius models, and they told NBCLA they do not intend to abandon them, even though Toyota is recalling more than 400,000 sold since last May to fix braking problems.

Hollywood's obsession with the Prius exploded a few years ago when the environmental group Global Green started shuttling Oscar arrivals in the fuel-efficient cars.

A spokesman for Global Green USA says it is standing by the Prius -- but this year, it will use older models at the Oscars and its pre-Oscars party.

Ed Begley's wife Rachel said she experienced the braking problem on her 2010 Toyota Prius, and she plans to take it back to the dealer for repairs this week.

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