June 26, 2014

All-new Ford Transit makes debut in US and Canada with industry's only five-row side-curtain airbag

The all-new Ford Transit 15-passenger wagon makes its debut in the United States and Canada with the industry's only five-row side-curtain airbag.

Part of Ford Motor Company's Safety Canopy System, this jumbo airbag is designed to help provide enhanced
head and neck protection in rollover and side-impact crashes.

"The Transit wagon's five-row side-curtain airbag is a great technological innovation that allows us to provide a high level of protection to multiple passengers in one of Ford's largest vehicles," said Sean West, Ford Restraints Manager

The airbag measures close to 15-feet long and 3-feet tall with a volume of 120 liters. By comparison, a side-curtain airbag for a sedan like Ford Fusion is approximately 6.8-feet long and 2-feet tall with a volume of 42 liters.

In a crash situation, a series of sensors detects the impact and triggers two of the industry's largest inflators to fill the entire airbag with stored gas in a fraction of a second. The inflators fill the bag in a pattern engineered to manage the direction of bag deployment and control cushion thickness throughout the length of the bag. The airbag is made of a coated, polyester-based fabric that holds the gas, so the bag remains inflated for several seconds.

The single-bag design - in conjunction with tethering and the vehicle's B-, C- and D-pillars - helps keep the curtain supported when deployed.

Ford developed the five-row side-curtain airbag in cooperation with TRW Automotive, a global supplier of active and passive safety systems.

"This airbag technology is unique in its purpose, which is to help provide protection across five rows of passengers in a cabin that is more spacious than the more traditional light-duty vehicle," said Norbert Kagerer, Vice-President, Occupant Safety Systems Engineering for TRW Automotive. "The stringent customer and industry regulatory requirements for airbags called for developing a system that provides appropriate occupant protection in a smart package."

Side-curtain airbags are standard on the Transit wagon, which is available in three roof heights, two wheelbases and three body lengths. The high-roof long-wheelbase wagon seats as many as 15 people and provides as much as 65.2-inches of headroom. The 15-passenger extended-length Transit wagon offers best-in-class cargo capacity - 100.5 cubic feet - behind the last row of seats.

The side-curtain airbag is just one of many standard safety features on the all-new Ford Transit wagon. Other standard safety features for Transit wagon include front and front-seat side airbags for the driver and front passenger, three-point safety belts for all seats, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and SOS Post-Crash Alert System.


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