2012 Ford Focus ST to Debut New Airbag Tech

The intriguing Focus ST set to make a world debut at the upcoming auto show in Paris will also see Ford introduce its latest airbag technologies that enhance protection for front seat occupants in the most common frontal and side crashes.

Innovations include Ford's next-generation driver-front airbag with enhanced chest protection technology. Specifically the new airbag uses a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that protects the driver's chest and ribs in frontal crashes.

Also included are new side airbags that help enhance chest protection for front seat occupants with shoulder vents that deliver varying levels of pressure based on the size of the occupant and how much of their shoulder blocks the vent.

"While seat belts and airbags provide proven protection for drivers of all ages, elderly drivers remain at higher risk of injury than younger drivers due to the nature of collision forces," said Frank Heitplatz, Ford supervisor of occupant safety integration. "Decades of biomechanical research at Ford continue to spur refinement of the safety technologies in our vehicles to further reduce the risks of severe injuries."

Focus also will be Ford's first car ever to feature front passenger airbags with adaptive venting technology that diverts some of the gas from the airbag inflators through vents outside of the airbags. The new passenger airbag is designed to help enhance head and neck protection, using 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.

“This is our most advanced airbag system ever in a Ford car, and is designed to enhance protection for front occupants in the most common types of crashes,” said Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “Each of these airbags uses innovative technologies to help customize airbag protection to the occupant.”

The new airbag technologies debut as 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.
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