Advertisement
Find a Car
Go!

2013 Ford Flex, Lincoln Vehicles Next To Get Inflatable Belts

Follow Marty

Ford's inflatable seat belt

Ford's inflatable seat belt



The inflatable seat belts that Ford (NYSE:F) introduced in the 2011 Explorer will be making their way into at least two more vehicles by next summer, the company said in a release.

The 2013 Ford Flex will join the Explorer in offering the belts, which Ford says has been outfitted on about 40 percent of all the Explorers it's sold thus far since its redesign late last year.

The new belts are only offered in the Explorer's second-row seat. When not inflated, they're softer than standard belts, which Ford says could help boost rear-seatbelt usage from 61 percent today, to the 82-percent rate observed for front-seat passengers by the National Traffic Highway Administration (NHTSA).

However, when an accident triggers the front airbags, the rear inflatable belts are also triggered, cushioning occupants better than a conventional belt can, Ford says.

Ford also says Lincoln vehicles due to go on sale next summer will offer the belts, but didn't specify which Lincolns. The MKT crossover shares its platform with the Flex, and could be a candidate, at least in passenger versions (not in commercial or black-car versions introduced this year).

The other Lincoln vehicle could be the brand's MKS sedan, which is due for a refresh. Both the updated MKT and MKS are said to be on the list of introductions coming to this fall's 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (2)
  1. Forty years ago we were experimenting with seat belts and airbags to give the government some direction on the path for car crash safety. We anticipated a tough fight to get the industry and buyers to accept and use plain manual shoulder belts in the back seat. Retractors? Forgetaboutit!

    We played with inflatable shoulder belts for several reasons. It was impractical to put an ordinary rear-firing one on the back of the front seat, and making one drop down from above still depended upon the ability of the front seatback to take the load without adding injury to the belted person on the front seat. I investigated real cases like that later.
    (more)
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  2. (cont) The inflated shoulder belts had the advantage of acting like belt pre-tensioners when they pulled the user back to the seat. As you can imagine, the car makers were unimpressed.

    Good for Ford for moving ahead now. Making such belts optionally available for the seats beyond the second would be wonderful for full-sized passenger vans.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Advertisement
Take Us With You!
   
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.