Toyota invests $50 million in new research center After 2010 brought negative press to the company over safety recalls, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it plans to launch a safety research center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Yesterday, Toyota affirmed that it will invest $50 million over the next five years on its new safety initiative, dubbed the Collaborative Safety Research Center. The plant will provide additional work for more than 1,000 current Toyota employees who already work for the car giant at its existing technical facility in the city.

Last year, the world's biggest automobile maker paid the U.S. government $48.8 million in fines related to its vehicle recalls; now, the company hopes its new safety research center will allay consumer concerns over its safety procedures.

Bruce Brownlee, Toyota's senior executive administrator for external affairs, asserts that the facility makes good on a promise the company's president, Akio Toyoda, made at congressional hearings last year: "Our president made a commitment to Congress to take a leadership role in automotive safety and this is an effort to live up to that commitment."

According to Toyota, the research center will study ways to combat driver distraction and protect drivers of all ages.
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