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New Ford Focus to launch new airbag technologies

New Ford driver-side, front airbag.

New Ford driver-side, front airbag.

Curve-shape in the lower section forms a protective “pocket”.

September 17, 2010: Ford Motor Company announced yesterday from Dearborn (Mich., USA) that the all-new 2012 Ford Focus will launch new airbag technologies that enhance protection for front seat occupants in the most common frontal and side crashes.

 Driver airbag

The first feature comes with Ford’s new driver-side, front airbag which helps reduce the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes, thanks to the reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section to form a protective “pocket” (see opposite picture).

 Side airbag

Another feature comes in the form of new side airbags featuring unique shoulder vents that stay open and reduce pressure for smaller occupants who typically benefit from reduced forces, while taller occupants whose shoulders block the vent could benefit from the higher pressures.

 Adaptive venting

The third new airbag technology to be launched with the all-new Focus at Ford is included in the front passenger airbags with adaptive venting technology that diverts some of the gas from the airbag inflators through vents outside of the airbags. The restraints control module adjusts the level of venting based on seat position.

2011 Ford Explorer.

Ford inflatable rear seat belts.

2011 Ford Explorer gets the first inflatable rear seat belts.

Ford says that the new passenger airbag is designed to help enhance head and neck protection by better matching deployment force with occupant size. It uses a small pyrotechnic device to force open the vent and can provide less pressure in the airbag when it’s sufficient to help protect the occupant.

The American brand adds that its new airbag technologies will be part of the standard equipment on the all-new 2012 Ford Focus, which goes on sale early next year in North America. They will be rolled out to other Ford vehicles in the next few years.

It is worth mentioning that a similar technology will be launched in the new 2011 Ford Explorer (production begins late this year at Ford’s Chicago manufacturing facility and Explorer will be available in dealerships this winter), with the world’s first inflatable rear seat belts.

Ford claims that the new inflatable second-row seat belts spread impact forces across five times more area than conventional seat belts, reducing pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion.

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