As promised, Ford is taking a page from Volvo's book and emphasizing safety for the 2007 model year for its Ford, Mercury and Lincoln brands. Side curtain airbags and rollover sensors -- factors that heavily contributed to the 2006 Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego earning the IIHS' highest rating of "Top Safety-Gold" -- will come standard on 14 Ford vehicles. The Expedition and Expedition EL's passengers will benefit from the addition of seat-mounted front-side air bags, a three-row Safety CanopyTM rollover detection system and AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control).

These newly added protective features come at a time where consumer demand for safety sits at the top of the most wanted list, followed directly behind quality and value. In fact, Ford cites a survey that found safety is now an "extremely important factor" for 54 percent of respondents, up from 51 percent in 2005.

[Source: Ford via TheAutoChannel.com]