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2006 Ford Freestyle Earns IIHS “Best Pick” Rating for Frontal Crash Test Performance

October 18, 2005

DEARBORN, MI - The 2006 Ford Freestyle has earned the highest available rating, and a “best-pick” designation in frontal offset crash test performance by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Following its recent 40-mph offset frontal barrier crash test, IIHS noted that Freestyle’s occupant compartment experienced minimal intrusion by maintaining its integrity very well – an essential factor in helping to protect vehicle occupants in a frontal crash. According to IIHS COO Adrian Lund, the driver’s side of the vehicle needs to absorb the energy of a crash and keep the occupant compartment intact. “The Freestyle’s performance is what we like to see,” Lund said. “Ford has done a good job of designing its newest vehicles to better protect occupants in frontal crashes.” IIHS also noted other recent good performers from the Ford stable including the Five Hundred family sedan, F-150 pickup, and Freestar minivan. All three vehicles – as well as the Mercury Montego sedan and Mercury Monterey minivan – previously earned the Institute's “Good-best pick” rating for frontal crash safety performance. Freestyle and Five Hundred – as well as Mercury Montego – recently were recognized as top performers in their respective categories in the government’s 2005 rollover stability test, and earned five-star performance ratings in NHTSA's front- and side-impact crash tests. Freestyle features the Safety Canopy system, a safety feature offering enhanced head protection for all three rows of outboard occupants, should side-impact collisions or rollover accidents occur. Freestyle’s side-impact protection uses laser-welding techniques for side pillars that redirect crash forces underneath the vehicle’s seats. This energy is further channeled through a cross-car tube. Ford’s adaptive steering column collapses horizontally at two different load levels based on safety belt usage and seat position. Driver airbag deployment level is tailored to the occupant, based on the position of the driver’s seat track.
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