Toyota has been getting a lot of kudos recently for its low-emissions hybrid vehicle, the Prius — but the car company increased its carbon emissions in the U.S. during the 1990s more than any other major automaker in the country, according to a report released this week by Environmental Defense. The group said Toyota increased its CO2 emissions by a whopping 72 percent from 1990 to 2000, mainly because of the dramatic growth in the company’s U.S. sales over the decade and its production of more and bigger SUVs and pickups. General Motors, the world’s largest automaker, topped the Environmental Defense bad-guy list by spewing 6.7 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere per year. Next were Ford (5.6 million tons) and DaimlerChrysler (4.1 million tons). If there’s a silver lining, it’s that Toyota plans to introduce more hybrid models into the U.S. market in January, possibly including a gas-electric SUV or minivan.
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