February 8, 2007

2007 Ford Fusion rated ‘Good’ in IIHS crash tests

Arlington, Virginia – The Ford Fusion midsize sedan earned the highest rating of ‘Good’ in front and side crash tests recently conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Last year the Institute first tested 2006 and early-production 2007 model Fusions. After making changes to improve both front and side crashworthiness, Ford asked the Institute to test this car again. In the new tests, the ratings for front and side protection improved to ‘Good’. However, the Fusion doesn’t win ‘Top Safety Pick’ because it’s rated marginal for rear crash protection and ESC isn’t available.

The Institute’s frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on results of 40 mph frontal offset crash tests. Each vehicle’s overall evaluation is based on measurements of intrusion into the occupant compartment, injury measures recorded on a Hybrid III dummy in the driver seat, and analysis of slow-motion film to assess how well the restraint system controlled dummy movement during the test.

Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. The barrier represents the front end of a pickup or SUV.

Rear crash protection is rated according to a two-step procedure. Starting points for the ratings are measurements of head restraint geometry – the height of a restraint and its horizontal distance behind the back of the head of an average-size man. Seat/head restraints with good or acceptable geometry are tested dynamically using a dummy that measures forces on the neck. This test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck in the rear at 20 mph. Seats without good or acceptable geometry are rated poor overall because they cannot be positioned to protect many people.

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