Inflatable Rear Safety Belt offered in 2014 Fusion

The inflatable rear safety belt as seen on test dummies in the Ford Fusion.

The inflatable rear safety belt as seen on test dummies in the Ford Fusion.

  • The 2014 Ford Fusion is the only vehicle in its class to offer rear inflatable safety belts, which combine the attributes of safety belts and airbags
  • Rear inflatable safety belts provide further protection for rear seat passengers, who often are children or older adults more vulnerable to head, neck and chest injuries

BY GERRY MILES

When you think of it, the rear seat inflatable safety belt just seems like another logical extension of the safety systems proliferating through the auto industry today.

Then, after some research, it’s discovered that this technology did arrive earlier, on the 2011 Ford Explorer. (It’s also available – which is auto speak for optional – on the Ford Explorer, Fusion, Flex, Taurus and Lincoln MKT and MKZ models.)

Ford Fusion owners benefit from a number of available driver-assist technologies, with 72 percent of Fusions sold equipped with Ford’s cross-traffic alert rear sensing technology and 58 percent equipped with a rear-view camera

The new 2014 Ford Fusion is the only car in the midsize segment to offer rear inflatable safety belts. This option is also available in the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi.

Rear inflatable safety belts best blend the safety combination of seat belts and airbags. In a crash or collision, sensors determine if the belt should deploy inflate the belt’s airbag with compressed gas.

“The inflatable belt is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries,” said Srinivasan Sundararajan, safety technical leader with Ford’s research and advanced engineering group. “This is another unique family technology that builds on our safety leadership.”

In regular use, the inflatable belts look, work and feel like a standard safety belt while still working with car seats and booster seats.

Ford Fusion owners benefit from a number of available driver-assist technologies. Seventy-two percent of vehicles sold are equipped with Ford’s cross-traffic alert rear sensing technology and 58 percent are equipped with a rear view camera.

Strong demand for Fusion is driving national share gains for Ford, especially in the western and southeastern areas of the United States. In the first half of 2013, Fusion sales rose 17.8 percent to 161,146 vehicles, compared with the same period in 2012.

Ford builds Fusion at the company’s Hermosillo, Mexico, manufacturing facility, and will soon add production at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.

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