The Brazilian government says it's building its first auto crash test facility to try to improve the safety record of cars sold in the country.

The decision comes a month after The Associated Press published an investigation that showed many cars sold in Latin America's biggest economy were less safe than the same models sold in the U.S. and Europe.

The AP report found that Brazilians die at four times the rate as Americans in passenger car wrecks.

The Brazilian government has recently begun to implement tougher safety standards for its auto industry. But critics have pointed out that without its own crash test center, the government has no means of verifying automaker safety claims.

The government hopes to have the facility operating by 2017.