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Mustang Safety Improved!

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Mustang Safety Improved


by ChromePony.Com Staff


As reported by Ford Motor Company, the Ford Mustang convertible is now the first specialty sports car in history to earn the highest possible safety ratings in all New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) test modes performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The iconic 2008 Ford Mustang convertible stands alone as the only convertible of any type that can be called a five-star safety vehicle, having aced all NCAP crash testing and rollover resistance evaluations.


To achieve five stars in all categories, vehicles must earn the highest possible safety ratings in frontal crash evaluations for both driver and front-seat passenger; side impact evaluations for both driver and rear-seat passenger directly behind the driver, and; NHTSA's rollover test, a two-tiered evaluation used to gauge a vehicle's resistance to rollover.


NHTSA's rollover rating was carried over from the previous year, when Mustang was found to be one of the most rollover resistant vehicles tested - largely due to its low slung demeanor.

Jim Vondale, director, Ford's Automotive Safety Office commented that, ÒThe Mustang convertible is another example of working at all levels to offer a vehicle that is both sporty and safe. It was developed with a dedicated focus on safety, making it the highest rated Mustang ever built."


Continuous improvement is equally applied to safety issues as to other aspects of the vehicle. A frontal offset crash test was run by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on a 2007 Mustang convertible. During the crash test, the window glass in the down position pushed on the driver door latch linkage, and the door opened.


Ford responded by adding structure in the doors to prevent the glass from contacting the latch mechanism and asked the Institute to test the Mustang again. In the second test, the driver door did not open.


As tested, the 2007 cars were equipped with front seat-mounted combination head and torso airbags. For 2008, Mustang adds standard side air bags to an already comprehensive safety package. Along with the addition of seat-mounted thorax side air bags, safety features include the Personal Safety System - a suite of restraint technologies designed to tailor their response to the severity of the crash and other factors.


The system includes dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, safety belt pretensioners, seat weight sensing system for the passenger seat and crash severity sensing. A vehicle occupant's best line of defense in crashes remains the safety belt, however.


The NHTSA ratings for the 2008 models, as well as for previous years, can also be found at www.safercar.gov, or by calling NHTSA's toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at (888) 327-4236.


Photos courtesy of IIHS

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