Inflatable Seat Belts a Big Hit for Ford

By Jason Davis | December 16, 2011
Automotive safety is like ice cream: everyone loves it. Right now, no one seems to be doing as great a job with safety as Ford, and no surprise, one of its newest safety features—inflatable seat belts—is a big hit in the Ford Explorer. "The inflatable belts are proving to be very successful and take rates are increasing as people become more aware of them after being introduced in the spring," says Ford spokesman Wes Sherwood. Of the 122,000 Explorers sold through November, Ford says that 40 percent of customers have bought the $200 optional inflatable belts, which reduce pressure on the chest, controlling head and neck motion for rear passengers in an accident. Ford expects the take rate to increase as more consumers become aware of the technology, which is said to be more comfortable than traditional belts, thereby encouraging belt usage.
"We do not yet have early quality data for them, but can say our research indicates that people not only like the innovative safety advancement but think the belts are more comfortable because they're padded and have rounded edges," he says. The inflatable belts have been such a surprise hit that Ford has confirmed they will soon appear in its other crossover, the Flex, and two other Lincoln models. Source: Ford