January 9, 2011 / 1:26 PM / 9 years ago

Toyota to open new safety research center

A model poses with Toyota Motor Corp's redesigned compact car "Vitz" at its unveiling in Yokohama, south of Tokyo December 22, 2010. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

DETROIT (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said on Sunday it will open a new advanced safety research facility at its technical center in the U.S. state of Michigan, spending $50 million over the next five years.

Toyota, the world’s biggest automaker, said the center will work with leading North American universities, hospitals, research institutions, federal agencies, and others to reduce fatalities and injuries on the road.

Toyota was the only major brand to post a drop in U.S. sales in 2010 as its safety image suffered from a recall of roughly 10 million vehicles in its biggest market since late 2009.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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