Ford F150 “K-Bag” Outperforms Competition in Side Impact Tests

•    The new 2009 Ford F150 – America’s safest full-size pickup – outperformed top segment challengers in new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) side-impact crash tests
•    F150 includes a state-of-the-art crash pressure sensor that deploys unique side “K-bags” – named for their shape – up to 30 percent faster traditional side air bags to improve crash performance
•    F150 features exclusive safety technologies, including standard Safety Canopy® side curtain air bags and AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™)
•    The 2009 Ford F150 is the only full-size pickup to earn both the U.S. government’s top 5-star crash test ratings and the IIHS “Top Safety Pick” award

DEARBORN, Feb. 11, 2009 – The all-new 2009 Ford F150 – which features an exclusive air bag technology – provides better side-impact crash safety than the Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram and Nissan Titan, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The F150 earned an IIHS “Top Safety Pick” last November and quadruple 5-star government crash test ratings in January – making it the only full-size pickup to achieve both top crash-test ratings. Combined with the most standard safety features in the segment, the F150 is America’s safest full-size pickup.
Among the truck’s unmatched list of advanced standard safety features is its patented “K-bag” technology, a new front seat-mounted dual-chamber side air bag named for its unique shape, which is designed to help protect the rib cage from excessive crash forces during a side impact. This air bag is supported with a state-of-the-art side crash sensing system that uses pressure pulses from the impact to deploy the air bag 30 percent faster than a conventional system.
“Ford’s innovative safety technologies, as well as more top ratings in government and insurance institute crash tests, further demonstrate Ford’s commitment to safety,” said Susan Cischke, Ford’s group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “Advanced standard safety features such as the ‘K-bag’ are important components in Ford’s accelerated rollout of affordable safety features.”
Exclusive safety features
Also new to the 2009 F150 is Ford’s standard Safety Canopy® side-curtain air bag rollover protection system, which helps protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollovers and side impact crashes. The air bag is designed to stay inflated for several seconds for additional protection in rollover crashes, which often last longer than side impact crashes.
Ford’s Personal Safety System – also a standard feature – is made up of a suite of protection technologies, including dual-stage front air bags and occupant weight classification, working together to help protect occupants.
The F150’s standard offering of Ford’s industry exclusive AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™) also met a newer requirement that vehicles must offer electronic stability control to earn IIHS’s top rating. The system is the world’s most sophisticated electronic stability control, helping prevent skidding and rollovers. It goes a step beyond typical stability control systems with a gyroscopic roll sensor that determines both the vehicle’s body roll angle and roll rate.
Lighter, tougher structure
The F150’s safety leadership also is built on the solid structure that underpins the truck’s legendary “Built Ford Tough” durability and capability. The truck has an all-new hydroformed steel front end – including use of tubular ultra high-strength, lighter weight steel that contributes to its unsurpassed fuel economy in the full-size pickup truck segment.
“The all-new 2009 Ford F150’s leading crash-safety ratings add to its capability, fuel economy and technological leadership,” said Steve Kozak, Ford’s chief engineer for safety systems. “We achieved top safety ratings and unsurpassed fuel economy at the same time by using high-strength and ultra high-strength steel in key areas of the new F150’s structure.”
“Ford’s F-Series sales have picked up pace since the launch of the new F150,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck marketing manager. “Purpose-made ‘Built Ford Tough’ trucks helped lay the foundation of this country and growing F-Series sales will be one of the early indicators of an economic recovery as the country begins rebuilding.”
Towing Tech
The new F150, which led Ford’s F-Series lineup to a 32nd straight year of truck sales leadership in 2008, has standard safety and towing aid technologies – including AdvanceTrac® with RSC® – that help customers more confidently use the truck’s segment-leading towing and hauling capability.
The system offers as standard integrated Trailer Sway Control technology, which helps determine from the yaw motion of the truck if the trailer is swaying and takes measures to help bring it under control.
“Ford’s use of advanced technologies on the 2009 F150 offers hardcore truck customers unmatched capability, unsurpassed fuel economy and unrivaled safety,” added Scott.
Ford expects the 2009 F150’s appeal to be even stronger for “core truckers,” who list safety as a top purchase consideration and are a growing part of today’s full size pickup market. According to recent Ford customer research, 83 percent of F150 buyers consider safety a leading purchase reason – more than buyers of five of the six competitive trucks.
“Whether our customers are towing a construction trailer to the job site or hauling the family and boat to the lake, the F150 provides unmatched capability, unsurpassed fuel economy, and unrivaled safety,” Scott said.

In addition to Trailer Sway Control is a range of towing related driver-aid features, including:
•    Integrated Trailer Brake Controller is a factory-installed option that allows direct operation of the trailer’s electronic brakes by squeezing the control module on the instrument panel with more confidence than the typical aftermarket system.
•    Tow Haul Mode changes shift points under acceleration, keeping the truck at a higher rpm and further up in the power range to improve the towing experience by avoiding unnecessary shifts in rolling terrain. Tow-haul also prevents the transmission from shifting up in gear when the vehicle crests a hill, and it provides downhill brake support that allows the transmission to downshift, letting engine-compression braking slow the vehicle and maintain a steady speed.
•    Available Reverse Camera System activates a small camera below the Ford oval badge in the center of the tailgate when the truck is shifted into reverse, giving the driver a clear view behind the vehicle. The video image is displayed in the navigation screen on trucks equipped with that option or in the self-dimming rearview mirror on trucks without the navigation system. The system provides the visibility needed to back up to a trailer and precisely line up the hitch. The screen image includes an industry-first centerline and colored guides giving the driver a better perspective of the vehicle’s center point and periphery.

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