New 2009 Ford F-150 Earns ‘Top Safety Pick’ Rating
The new 2009 Ford F-150 is the latest Ford vehicle to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's "Top Safety Pick" award. With the award, Ford Motor Company, including Volvo, adds to its leading number of 16 IIHS "Top Safety Pick" ratings, further separating itself from Honda's second place tally of 13. IIHS awarded the F-150 its highest rating for front and side impact tests and in evaluations of seats and head restraints.
The F-150's standard offering of Ford's exclusive AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control) also met a newer requirement that vehicles must offer electronic stability control to earn IIHS's top rating. Ford has been aggressively implementing this safety technology across its vehicle lineup.
"Earning a ‘Top Safety Pick' is great news because the Insurance Institute's tests are some of the most demanding conducted outside of our own laboratories, and customers increasingly rely on them when choosing a new vehicle," said Susan Cischke, Ford's senior vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "The Ford F-150 offers the best safety ratings, unsurpassed fuel economy and unmatched capability – three of the top purchase considerations for truck customers today."
Cischke added that Ford engineered the new F-150 to also earn top ratings in the U.S. government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests to be conducted later this year. Ford has more IIHS Top Safety Picks and government five-star safety-rated vehicles than any other automaker.
The Toughest Truck The F-150's legendary toughness contributes not only to its durability and capability but its safety as well. The 2009 F-150 has an all-new hydroformed steel body structure – including industry-first use of tubular ultra-high-strength lighter weight steel that offers top performance and contributes to the F-150's unsurpassed fuel economy in the full-size pickup truck segment.
Also new in the F-150 this year is Ford's standard Safety Canopy® side-curtain air bag rollover protection system, which helps protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollovers and side-impact crashes. It is designed to stay inflated for several seconds, as rollover crashes often last longer than side-impact crashes. Added to this is a Ford-first – the new "K-bag," a front seat dual-chamber side air bag named for its unique shape, which is designed to help protect the rib cage from excessive crash forces during a side impact.
Further adding to the standard safety enhancements is a state-of-the-art passenger seat sensor that specifies the timing and type of air-bag deployment based on the weight of the occupant. Additional sensors in the vehicle – monitoring roll stability control and rollover air bag deployment – have been integrated into one unit, increasing the sensitivity and accuracy of the system.
Ford expects the new truck's appeal to be even stronger for the "core truckers" who list safety as a top 10 purchase consideration and are a growing part of today's full size pickup market. According to recent Ford customer research, 83 percent of F-150 buyers consider safety a top purchase reason – more than purchasers of five of the six competitive trucks.
Ford's fully redesigned pickup delivers, with more safety features than any other Ford truck – period.
"Our customers buy the F-150 because it gets the job done whether for work or play when they're hauling families and towing boats," said Doug Scott, Ford truck marketing manager. "Businesses buy safety because it helps keep their trucks on the road, bringing in business. During the weekend, many of the same safety features also help keep families safe."
Other standard safety features on the vehicle include Advance Trac® with Roll Stability Control (RSC®), a first for the F-150. The system, using a gyroscopic sensor, detects and measures over-steer, roll and yaw. Working in conjunction with AdvanceTrac is Trailer Sway Control, which determines from the yaw motion of the truck if the trailer is swaying and takes measures to help bring it under control.
In addition to Trailer Sway Control are a range of towing-related driver-aid features, including:
* Integrated Trailer Brake Controller is factory-installed and allows direct operation of the trailer's electronic brakes by squeezing the control module on the instrument panel with more confidence than the typical aftermarket system.
* Tow Haul Mode changes shift points under acceleration, keeping the truck at a higher rpm and further up in the power range to improve the towing experience by avoiding unnecessary shifts in rolling terrain. Tow-haul also prevents the transmission from shifting up in gear when the vehicle crests a hill, and it provides downhill brake support that allows the transmission to downshift, letting engine-compression braking slow the vehicle and maintain a steady speed.
* Reverse Camera System activates a small camera below the Ford oval badge in the center of the tailgate when the truck is shifted into reverse, giving the driver a clear view behind the vehicle. The video image is displayed in the navigation screen on trucks equipped with that option or in the self-dimming rearview mirror on trucks without the navigation system. The system provides the visibility needed to back up to a trailer and precisely line up the hitch. The screen image includes an industry-first centerline and colored guides giving the driver a better perspective of the vehicle's center point and periphery.
"All of these ‘driver friendly' features not only help make this the safest F-150 ever, but they also instill confidence making the 2009 F-150's best-in-class capability more usable," said Scott.
The new F-150 also has been recognized as the one and only "Truck of Texas" by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) – the sixth consecutive year a Ford truck has won top honors – as well as PickupTrucks.com's Best Overall Half-Ton Pickup.