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.