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When it comes to vehicle crash safety, the general consensus is that having a roof over your head leads to a better outcome. Ford has just proven that this isn't always the case with its 2008 Ford Mustang convertible, which has become the first and only convertible of any type to be given a five-star safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In its latest New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) round of testing, the Mustang drop-top took top honors in a field of tests that included both crash testing and rollover resistance evaluations. These included frontal crash evaluations for both driver and front-seat passenger, side impact evaluations for both driver and the rear-seat passenger on the driver's side, and even a rollover test.

[Source: Ford]

Specific features of the car that helped win its acclaim were the standard front and side airbags, safety belt pretensioners, seat weight sensing system for the passenger seat and crash severity sensing. However, the number one rated safety feature remains the humble seat belt, so next time you're in the car, be it a coupe or convertible, remember to buckle up.


PRESS RELEASE:

NEW MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE STANDS ALONE IN ITS CLASS

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 4, 2007 – The Ford Mustang convertible, the best-selling convertible ever, is now the first specialty sports car in history to earn the highest possible safety ratings in all New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) test modes performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).The iconic 2008 Ford Mustang convertible stands alone as the only convertible of any type that can be called a five-star safety vehicle, having aced all NCAP crash testing and rollover resistance evaluations.

To achieve five stars in all categories, vehicles must earn the highest possible safety ratings in:

Frontal crash evaluations for both driver and front-seat passenger
Side impact evaluations for both driver and rear-seat passenger directly behind the driver
NHTSA's rollover test, a two-tiered evaluation used to gauge a vehicle's resistance to rollover
The new Mustang convertible also earned the highest side-impact performance rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

"The five-star ratings confirm our own analysis of the safety performance of this excellent vehicle," said Jim Vondale, director, Ford's Automotive Safety Office. "The Mustang convertible is another example of working at all levels to offer a vehicle that is both sporty and safe. It was developed with a dedicated focus on safety, making it the highest rated Mustang ever built."

For 2008, Mustang adds standard side air bags to an already comprehensive safety package. Along with the addition of seat-mounted thorax side air bags, safety features include the Personal Safety System – a suite of restraint technologies designed to tailor their response to the severity of the crash and other factors. The system includes dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, safety belt pretensioners, seat weight sensing system for the passenger seat and crash severity sensing.

A vehicle occupant's best line of defense in crashes remains the safety belt. Ford Motor Company's industry-leading technology, Beltminder, reminds the driver and front-seat passenger to buckle up. The technology has been installed in more than 20 million vehicles. Both NHTSA and IIHS have noted the effectiveness of Beltminder as a significant life-saving technology.


Mustang convertible features a crash-optimized structure designed to help absorb and dissipate crash energy and maintain occupant compartment integrity. Ford designs all of its vehicles with the objective of reducing the risk and severity of injury in a crash. Ford safety engineers and experts use the most advanced computer modeling technology in the industry to ensure its vehicles meet or exceed our stringent internal crashworthiness standards. Ford incorporates an array of other stringent safety testing in the development of its vehicles, including frontal offset, side impact and rear impact.

Mustang remains one of the greatest automotive sales success stories of all time and is America's best-selling convertible. Nearly one out of every two sports cars sold in this country is a Mustang. The 2008 Mustang intends to hold on to that sales leadership with new available features that will add personal appeal, including High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps, 18-inch wheels on the V-6 coupe, and an interior ambient lighting system.


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  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's pretty good news. It's funny to see that the Mustang with SAB scores 4 stars in side crash for the rear passengers, while the one without SAB scores 5 stars, weird...
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's good considering the 2 V-6 Mustangs I have rented had such shitty tires on them that they would oversteer wildly at the drop of a hat. Fun in the dry. Probably less so in the wet.

      I always wondered if those tires where the same ones that came from the factory.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good job Ford!!

      Funny how even when Ford does something good everyone on here still just badmouths them. Trying to find some other angle to bash them. Or at least question every positive story about Ford..

      Give it up....
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think they badmouth Ford because they produce junky fleet cars - kind of embarrassing as an American to live in a country with such low standards. Rent a new 'stang and you'll get my drift... But wow, dig that cheap looking and completely non-functional hoodscoop. Go Ford!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is very good news.

      A year or two ago a woman was driving her 2003 (I'm guessing) Mustang GT convertible in a residential area somewhere in Winnipeg when a 1970's fullsize F series truck t-boned her.
      Her Mustang tore in half.
      It was such a clean tear that it looked like the front section was removed by mechanics.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Someone must have removed the subframe connectors that became standard on Mustang convertibles in 1999. Surely with those in place, things would have been more torn up if the car had been ripped in half.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mike,

        The only way I can see someone removing the subframe connectors would be if this car was a former write-off and was repaired improperly.
        However, if this was the case I can't imagine this car would of been permitted to be fixed and insured again as repairs that require removing subframe connectors would be pretty massive.
        I wish I had some pictures for you to see.
        • 7 Years Ago
        kinda like the Enzo that broke cleanly in two that we've all seen in the crash pictures.

        5 stars is a pretty big deal, especially since these convertibles seem to be mostly driven by women. Women dig things like crash ratings.

      • 7 Years Ago
      This is the first convertible to get 5 stars according to the NHTSA. But EuroNCAP and IIHS already gave the Volvo C70 5 stars and Top Safety Pick. Besides being the only convertible in the world with side curtain airbags.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ford has quietly been doing a good job with safety all along. For years they have been making some of the safest vehicles on the road. For all it's blandness the Freestar did really well in crash tests as does the new Taurus. It is proof that they employ some really talented engineers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Too bad the '07 Mustang failed a NHTSA compliance test recently. Probably a big recall for the passenger airbag coming soon.

      From the test report: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/database/aspx/searchmedia2.aspx?database=v&tstno=6086&mediatype=r&r_tstno=6080

      TEST FAILURES:
      FMVSS 208 S16.1; The 5th% female passenger dummy had a tension-extension neck injury
      (Nte) measure of 1.11 at 62.6 ms after barrier impact during the 40 kmph unbelted frontal
      impact test. The maximum allowed is 1.0.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A friend of mine had a 2003 Mustang convertible with a V6.
      It was recalled for having handling issues and the rear suspension was redone.
      She used that to get out of the lease and bought a used car.

      What generation of Mustang did you rent?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Don't get too excited about that rollover rating. The test measures the car's RESISTANCE to rolling, not how well it protects you if you do roll. In fact, not having a roof can actually help a car do well in that rating, since it's center of gravity is much lower.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, where's the rollbar?
        Don't they want repeat business?
        • 7 Years Ago
        And Shelby tells me that the "rollbar"-looking thing on the Shelby GT is actually called a "light bar". They say it has no structural function, and is purely decorative - though it does hold a second center high mounted stoplight. Whoopee.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, does the Mustang have pop-up rollover protection like the Top Safey Pick Saab 9-3 which scored highest of all in the IIHS convertible tests (higher than the Volvo if you look at the details)? Funny how the 07 Mustang only scored "Adequate" in their tougher tests. Is the 08 improved over the 07?
      Bryan
      • 7 Years Ago
      Uhm RV what world are you living in? I had an 06 Mustang for a rental back in 05 and not only did it drive and handle well, it weas super quiet inside. I didn't even know I was at 80mph. Junky fleet cars would be the Camry and its nasty twin, the Solara. Btw, how many stars does that heap get?
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Bryan
        "Junky fleet cars would be the Camry and its nasty twin, the Solara. Btw, how many stars does that heap get?"

        Those two "junky" fleet cars don't do too bad:

        Camry (2008) - NHTSA shows 5-stars for frontal and side protection and 4-star for rollover resistance (as good as it gets for a non-convertible or non-sports car).

        Solara (2006, the most recent year tested) - Ditto.
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