Thursday, June 10, 2010

Five Ford Vehicles Earn Top Safety Picks By IIHS; Ford Leads Industry With Most Top Crash Ratings

  • The 2010 Ford Flex and Fusion, Lincoln MKZ and MKT, and Mercury Milan have earned Top Safety Pick ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
  • Ford now has 11 Top Safety Pick ratings for 2010 model vehicles – more than any other automaker
  • High-strength steel and composite reinforcements in the body structures of Ford’s newest vehicles helped these and other models earn the best possible rating in IIHS testing

DEARBORN, Mich., June 9, 2010 – Five more 2010 Ford Motor Company vehicles – Ford Flex, Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln MKT and Mercury Milan – have earned Top Safety Picks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The rating also applies to the Fusion Hybrid and Milan Hybrid.


Ford has 11 IIHS Top Safety Pick ratings for 2010 model vehicles – the most of any automaker – as well as the leading number of five-star safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


Flex, Fusion, MKZ, MKT and Milan previously earned top possible scores for occupant protection in IIHS’s front, side and rear tests, but had to pass IIHS’s new roof strength test to maintain the rating. Vehicles also must offer electronic stability control to be eligible for a Top Safety Pick.


“Leading the industry in both Top Safety Pick ratings and government five-star crash test ratings is very significant because customers increasingly consider IIHS and NHTSA ratings when choosing a new vehicle,” said Sue Cischke, Ford’s group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “These latest test results further demonstrate Ford’s commitment to continuous improvement on the safety front.”


Strong by design
Ford’s use of high-strength steels, including low-alloy, dual-phase and boron steel in the A- and B-pillars, roof headers and bows, rocker panels and rocker baffles of its newest vehicles helped the company perform well in IIHS testing. In addition, composite reinforcements were used to augment and stabilize the key pillar sections against collision forces.


Many new Ford vehicles are built with the company’s Trinity Front Crash Body Architecture. The energy-absorbing body structure is optimized for strength and stiffness, and designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.


In addition, Ford’s Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement (SPACE®) Architecture is used to optimize side-impact occupant protection. The SPACE system integrates a high-strength steel structure in the floor that runs the width of the vehicle, and reinforcements along the rocker panels to help protect passengers in side-impact incidents.


“Ford’s use of high- and ultra-high-strength steels in our vehicles complements our development of advanced crash protection and crash avoidance technologies,” Cischke said. “With each new model year, we’re raising the bar on vehicle safety.”

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