Five Stars for Ford's New Models
By: Mike O'Neill | Ford Communications Network
The Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego both scored five out of five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's crash test.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Ford Five Hundred is tops when it comes to crash safety. So is the Mercury Montego -- and initial test results place the new Ford Freestyle and Volvo V70 and XC70 in the top safety rank as well.
Newly completed testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awards five stars to the Five Hundred and Mercury Montego in each of the four major crash test areas.
The Five Hundred and Montego received five stars for both driver and passenger protection against the risk of head and chest injury in a frontal crash and five stars for both front and rear seat occupants for the low risk of chest injury in a side impact crash.
It is the best overall performance achieved by any four-door sedan tested without side air bags in the history of NHTSA.
“It’s a true testament to the Ford Five Hundred’s safety engineering that it can achieve NHTSA’s top crash score without the optional side airbags,” said Steve Lyons, Ford Division president.
“While we recommend our Safety Canopy™ side curtain air bag system to any customer looking for an extra measure of protection, it is a tremendous accomplishment for our engineering teams that the standard Five Hundred achieves such a high level of protection. This provides real peace of mind for customers shopping for a safe, stylish and capable family sedan,” said Lyons.
Separately, both the Five Hundred and Montego also received four stars in rollover testing by NHTSA.
In addition, the new Ford Freestyle received the top possible rating of five stars in occupant protection in a side impact crash. NHTSA has not yet completed frontal or rollover testing for the Freestyle.
The Volvo models received five star ratings in the frontal crash test with side and rollover testing not completed yet.
For frontal crash tests in the agency's New Car Assessment Program, crash-test dummies that represent an average-sized adult are placed in driver and front passenger seats and secured with the vehicle's safety belts. The vehicles are then crashed into a fixed barrier at 35 miles per hour (mph), which is equivalent to a head-on collision between two similar vehicles each moving at 35 mph.
In the case of the Five Hundred, Montego and Volvo models, the five star ratings mean there is less than a 10 percent chance of the driver or front seat passenger sustaining a serious head or chest injury in such a frontal crash.
For side crash tests, crash-test dummies are placed in the driver and rear passenger seats and secured with the vehicle's safety belts. The side crash test represents an intersection-type collision with a 3,015-pound barrier moving at 38.5 mph into a standing vehicle. The moving barrier is covered with material that has "give" to replicate the front of a vehicle. According to NHTSA, it is possible to compare all vehicles with each other when looking at side crash protection ratings since the same size barrier impacts all tested vehicles.
Instruments measure the force of impact to each dummy's head, neck, chest, and pelvis. Side-collision star ratings indicate the chance of a serious chest injury for the first and second row occupants -- the driver, front seat passenger and the rear seat passenger.
The five star ratings earned by the Freestyle, Montego and Five Hundred mean there is less than a five percent chance in such a side crash of a serious chest injury. A serious injury is considered to be one requiring immediate hospitalization and that may be life threatening.
In addition, the rollover ratings show that the new Ford Mustang achieved the top possible score – five stars. Neither the Five Hundred nor the Montego tipped during testing and NHTSA believes that there is a 10 percent chance of either vehicle rolling over during a single vehicle accident. That places both of those vehicles at the top of the four star category.
In other newly released rollover test results, the Volvo S40 also received four stars. The Lincoln Navigator 4x4 was the highest rated SUV, receiving four stars. The highest rated vans were the Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey, also each receiving four stars.
The 2005 Acura RL was the only vehicle in the latest group to earn five star ratings for rollover and for all seating positions in both front and side impact crashes. According to NHTSA, it joins the Volvo S60 and S80 as the only vehicles to achieve that combined standard.