2009 Ford Flex Scores Five Stars For Frontal- And Side-Impacts

The new 2009 Ford Flex has scored five-star safety ratings from NHTSA in all four front and side-impact tests. The Flex numbers beat those of the rival Toyota Highlander, which received a four-star rating for the passenger in frontal tests. Ford also scored a four-star rating in the rollover test using both 2WD and 4WD Flex models, all of which should assuage some of the concerns of soccer moms afraid to tote the brood around in anything smaller than an H1 Alpha. Full release from Ford after the jump.

FORD FLEX HITS SAFETY PINNACLE WITH 5-STAR RATINGS

- Flex earns U.S. government's top 5-star crash ratings for all four front- and side-impact tests - adding to Ford's leading number of 5-star vehicles.

- The daringly designed and fuel-efficient seven-passenger crossover continues to draw praise and customer interest.

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 5, 2008 - The 2009 Ford Flex has earned five-star frontal- and side-impact crashworthiness ratings, the highest possible scores, in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests.

The results for Ford's newest full-size crossover are better than the Toyota Highlander's and include class-leading four-star rollover ratings for both the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions.

"The 5-star ratings for the Flex are evidence of Ford's overall safety commitment. In fact, we have produced more 5-star-rated vehicles than any other automaker," said Susan Cischke, Ford's senior vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "The Flex offers it all: a head-turning design, top safety ratings, unsurpassed highway fuel efficiency in its segment, power, spaciousness, comfort and great features."

Flex safety standard

Flex, which went on sale this summer, has a full array of standard safety equipment.

This includes dual front air bags, headliner mounted side curtain air bags, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, Ford-exclusive AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™) and tire pressure monitoring system.

Flex gets some of its core strength from the use of lightweight aluminum-coated boron steel - one of the strongest weld-able materials - in the body structure. The use of high-strength steel in the B-pillars is only part of the Flex's robust safety profile. Ford engineers also located the side door intrusion beams to help manage and absorb energy during side impact crashes.

"Flex safety is built on a solid foundation - the platform of the 5-star rated Ford Taurus and Taurus X," said Gary Boes, Flex chief engineer.

How the Crash Ratings Work

NHTSA's frontal collision ratings are determined by placing crash-test dummies in the driver's seat and front-passenger seat and securing them with the vehicle's safety belts. Vehicles are then crashed into a fixed barrier at 35 mph, which is equivalent to a head-on collision between two similar vehicles that are moving at 35 mph. The 5-star rating attained by Flex indicates a 10 percent or less chance of serious injury to a belted occupant in the front seat.

Side-impact crash testing represents an intersection-type collision with a 3,015 pound barrier moving at 38.5 mph into the Flex, with crash test dummies buckled into the driver and rear passenger seats. Flex's five-star rating, the highest possible, indicates a 5 percent or less chance of serious injury.

"Safety is a top purchase consideration, second only to fuel efficiency, so Flex's top safety ratings and highway fuel economy are a winning combination," said Catherine Pearce, Flex marketing manager.

Even More Technology Works in Customers' Favor

Flex also can help drivers avoid problems on the road.

The new SIRIUS® Travel Link™ feature, praised for helping motorists find the cheapest gas, also can help route them around congested, potentially dangerous conditions using the vehicle's navigation system with real-time traffic information, available in select markets.

SYNC®, Ford's hands-free connectivity system for Bluetooth-enabled phones and digital music players, helps drivers keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel to reduce distractions.


[Ford]