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Old 12-11-2004, 05:32   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford Escape rated well in side crash tests

Ford Escape rated well in side crash tests

By Dee-Ann Durbin / Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The 2005 Ford Escape got the highest rating in side crash tests performed by the insurance industry, but only when it was tested with its optional side air bags, according to results released Friday.

The Ford Escape got a "poor," the institute's lowest rating, when it was tested without its side air bags. The side air bags are a $595 option on the vehicle, according to Ford's Web site. The rating also applies to the Escape's corporate twins, the Mercury Mariner and the Mazda Tribute, the institute said.

Ford Motor Co. added optional head-protecting side curtain air bags in its 2005 models, replacing a combination head-and-torso bag in previous models.

In the institute's side-impact crash test, a barrier representing the hood of a pickup or sport utility vehicle is crashed into the side of the test vehicle at 31 mph. Dummies are placed in the front and rear seats.
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