The 2016 Ford F-150 will offer increased driver crash protection from the 2015 model, after the extended-cab model didn't earn the top safety rating in an insurance industry crash test, a spokesman told Automotive Fleet.
Ford has added protective bars to the 2015 F-150 crew cab, called the SuperCrew, and will add "counter measures" to improve occupant safety for the 2016 extended cab, called the SuperCab, and regular cab models, said Ford spokesman Mike Levine. The small bars have been added behind the front wheels off the frame.
Ford's 2015 F-150 crew cab model was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while the extended cab model was rated as good by the group in crash testing. The institute gave it a marginal rating for occupant protection in a small overlap front crash test.
The crew cab model is by far Ford's highest-volume F-150 with 83 percent of sales through seven months of 2015.
Ford is still evaluating how to bolster occupant protection for the 2016 extended cab and regular cab models, Levine said.
"It's not as easy as taking what we do for the SuperCrew and applying it to the SuperCab and regular cab," Levine said. "We want to make sure that what we do does not compromise the other safety components of the truck."
The 2016 F-150 models will go into production in the fall and arrive at dealer lots toward the end of the year.