Ford tops in 'Safety Picks' ratings
Dubai, November 8, 2008
Ford Motor Company has earned 16 'Top Safety Pick' ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), more than any other automaker to date.
The automaker said it surpassed its closest rival Honda this week when four of its 2009 models – Ford Flex, Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKS and Mercury Milan – achieved the 'Top Safety Pick' ratings from the IIHS. Ford also has more 5-star government crash test ratings than any other automaker.
The Flex, Ford's all-new head-turning crossover, the new Lincoln MKS full-size flagship sedan and the Fusion and Milan midsize sedans build on the company's safety leadership.
'Leading the industry in 'Top Safety Picks' is great news, because IIHS tests are some of the most demanding conducted outside of our own laboratories, and customers are increasingly relying on them when choosing a new vehicle,' said Susan Cischke, Ford's group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.
To earn IIHS's 'Top Safety Pick', vehicles must earn the top 'good' ratings in the institute's high-speed front and side crash tests, and a rear crash test simulation that evaluates seat and head restraints.
An added requirement since 2007 is that vehicles also must offer electronic stability control.
Flex, MKS, Fusion and Milan excelled in each of the institute’s crash tests, and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control is available for each vehicle.
The safety system uses sensors to detect and measure yaw, or side-to-side skidding conditions, by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle.
When AdvanceTrac senses wheel slip, engine torque is reduced and braking is applied where needed to help the driver keep the car tracking on its intended path. IIHS has stated that 'AdvanceTrac significantly reduces crash risk by helping drivers maintain control of their vehicles during emergency maneuvers'.
IIHS said 'Top Safety Pick' vehicles are 'at the head of the class for safety', and recognising them as such 'helps consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort through multiple test results'.
Flex, MKS, Fusion and Milan get some of their core strength from the use of lightweight aluminum-coated boron steel – one of the strongest weld-able materials – in the body structure.
The use of high-strength steel in the B-pillars is only part of their robust safety profile. Ford engineers also located the side door intrusion beams to help manage and absorb energy during side impact crashes.
'Flex and MKS are built on a platform that has a tremendous safety heritage – one that it shares with the 2009 Ford Taurus, rated America's safest full-size car,' said Steve Kozak, Ford's chief engineer for safety systems.
'And Fusion and Milan prove that a high level of safety can come in a midsize package.'
In addition to electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes, standard safety features on Flex, MKS, Fusion and Milan include:
Six Standard Air Bags and Ford's Personal Safety System: Safety features include six air bags (dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags, thorax side air bags for front-seat occupants and side-impact air curtains), safety belt pretensioners, seat weight-sensing system for the front passenger seat and crash-severity sensing.
Ford’s BeltMinder, a safety belt reminder technology for the driver and front passenger that takes over after the initial safety belt reminder stops chiming.
Latch: The Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system provides convenient mounting points for compatible child seats.
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System: This system warns a driver if one or more tires are underinflated. An active pressure sensor with<