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Safer Airbags from Ford

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author photo by Autotrader September 2010

We all know that airbags were invented to protect occupants during a car accident. But in some cases airbags have been reported to inflict pain in the very person they are protecting.

At the leading edge for five decades, Ford created an airbag test fleet in 1971, offered a driver-side airbag in 1985 and standardized driver and front passenger airbags in most vehicles by 1993. In recent years, Ford has introduced a variety of crash protection systems – ranging from canopy airbags to knee bolsters.

Now Ford has taken air-bag technology to the next level – one that could protect people of all sizes and ages in a crash.

"Airbags are proven life-saving devices, and Ford's new innovations are making them even more effective. Now they're kinder and gentler by customizing protection to the occupant's size," notes Sue Cischke, Ford Group Vice President, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.

These innovations, debuting as standard equipment on the 2012 Ford Focus, include a driver-side airbag with chest protection. It uses a curve-shaped tether system to pull in the lower section, thereby creating a pocket to help decrease the airbag's impact on the driver's chest and ribs. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h-b2lKOVmE

Other new developments include side airbags with shoulder vents that adapt the airbag pressure to accommodate the size of the passenger. With taller passengers whose shoulders block the vents, technology keeps the airbags fuller and more cushioned. For smaller occupants (with shoulders that don't block the vents) gas passes through the vents more quickly resulting in a bag that doesn't deploy as fully, thus lessening the impact. It also includes front passenger airbags with adaptive venting technology that uses sensors and seat position to optimize pressure and force.

The new airbag systems will roll out to other Ford vehicles within the next few years.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Safer Airbags from Ford - Autotrader