TOKYO — Seven years after Toyota Motor Corp.'s unintended acceleration debacle, the Japanese carmaker is keeping the legacy of the embarrassing global recall alive — but in a good way.
Toyota announced last month that it will pump $35 million into a second round of research projects following the recall, running through 2020. The program follows up on research Toyota initiated in 2011 in response to the recalls. That research wrapped up in December 2015.
Most automakers would hope a painful safety recall would simply slip from the public's memory. Not Toyota.
Toyota responded to its 2009-10 unintended acceleration recall scandal with a public relations offensive to win back buyers. At the 2011 Detroit auto show, President Akio Toyoda announced the creation of the Collaborative Safety Research Center to look into the recall and related safety issues. Toyoda said at the time that it demonstrated Toyota's commitment to safety after the quality lapses that led to the recalls of millions of Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
The new round of research, dubbed CSRC Next, falls under the center's umbrella and will focus on autonomous and connected vehicles.