WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer have earned the government’s highest rating – five stars – in the New Car Assessment Program frontal and side-impact crash test for drivers and passengers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), achieving the best available crash-test rating reflects a vehicle’s ability to reduce the likelihood of injuries and fatalities when accidents occur. The 2006 Explorer and Mountaineer lead their class with 10 standard advanced safety technologies, seven of which are new to the mid-size-SUV class. Both vehicles provide the most active and pas-sive safety features in their class, and feature four new adaptive technologies specifically designed to help tailor frontal-impact protection based on crash severity, occupant size, and safety-belt usage. The 2006 Explorer and Mountaineer offer active safety technology — including handling and brak-ing combined with standard AdvanceTrac with class-exclusive Roll Stability Control (RSC) to help prevent accidents. RSC features roll-rate sensing and correcting capability, offering assistance to the driver in maintaining vehicle control during extreme maneuvers. The system automatically engages countermeasures to help the driver maintain maximum control and further reduce the risk of rollover. If a rollover or side-impact collision does occur, the 2006 Explorer and Mountaineer include features to help further protect occupants, including standard side-impact airbags for the driver and front passenger and available Safety Canopy side air curtains that deploy in certain side-impact collisions or if an impending rollover is detected. In the case of a frontal collision, Ford’s occupant classification system helps tailor airbag deployment for increased protection. A horizontal stroking adaptive steering column and Tire Pressure Monitoring System add to the safety package to further help protect customers.