Ford's 2009 F-150 has garnered five-star government crash ratings and a "Top Safety Pick" award from the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS), which Ford says makes its newly redesigned full-sizer the safest out there. Vehicle safety is still largely a question of the loose nut behind the wheel, but the F-150 does come with a raft of safety gear. Acronyms and names abound, from RSC (Roll Stability Control), to K-bags and Safety Canopy curtain airbags, it all helps the pickup earn five stars in front- and side-impact crash testing. We'd expect no less from Ford, considering the F-Series is a perennial sales champ, and probably the most pivotal vehicle Dearborn makes. The '09 F-series has been racking up accolades and these safety ratings are yet another feather in its cap. With competitors nipping at its heels, the F-Series cannot be anything other than stellar, and for now, with the long list of huzzahs, it appears to have met the challenge. Press release after the jump.
2009 FORD F-150 BECOMES AMERICA'S SAFEST FULL-SIZE PICKUP BY EARNING TOP 5-STAR CRASH RATINGS
- The 2009 Ford F-150 is the only pickup to earn both the government's top 5-star crash-test ratings and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) "Top Safety Pick award".
- Ford has more U.S. government 5-star safety-rated vehicles than any other brand and more IIHS "Top Safety Picks" than any other automaker.
- The 2009 Ford F-150 features more standard safety features – including standard Safety Canopy® side curtain air bags, AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™) and a patented "K-bag" seat-mounted air bag – than any other half-ton truck.
- The 2009 Ford F-150 powers the F-Series lineup to 32 consecutive years of truck sales leadership and continues picking up awards, including Motor Trend "Truck of the Year™".
DEARBORN, Jan. 7, 2009 – The all-new 2009 Ford F-150 became America's safest full-size pickup by earning 5-star ratings in both government crash tests, in addition to the "Top Safety Pick" award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and an unmatched list of advanced standard safety features.
The 2009 F-150 – the 2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year™ – recently earned 5-star frontal- and 5-star side-impact crash-test ratings, the highest possible scores in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests.
"The new F-150's leading 5-star crash ratings and 'Top Safety Pick' award further demonstrate Ford's commitment to safety as we have more top government ratings than any other brand," said Susan Cischke, Ford's group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "The new 2009 F-150 also offers more advanced safety features as standard equipment than any other half-ton truck, part of our aggressive roll-out of safety for millions of customers."
The new F-150 led Ford's F-Series lineup to a 32nd straight year of truck sales leadership in 2008. Ford F-Series finished the year with 50,448 more unit sales than its nearest competitor. In addition, for the 27th year in a row, F-Series is once again America's best-selling vehicle of any type – car, crossover, SUV, truck or van. Since the all new 2009 F-150 went on sale in October 2008, Ford F-Series has gained market share, increasing from 31 percent of the full-size truck market in the first nine months to 37 percent in the fourth quarter.
"Ford's F-Series sales have picked up pace since the launch of the new F-150," said Doug Scott, Ford truck marketing manager. "Purpose-made 'Built Ford Tough' trucks helped lay the foundation of this great country and growing F-Series sales will be one of the early indicators of an economic recovery as the country begins rebuilding"
The Toughest Truck
The F-150's safety leadership is built on the solid structure that underpins the truck's legendary "Built Ford Tough" durability and capability. The new truck has an all-new hydroformed steel front end – including use of tubular ultra-high-strength lighter weight steel that contributes to its unsurpassed fuel economy in the full-size pickup truck segment.
"The all-new 2009 Ford F-150's leading crash-safety ratings add to its capability, fuel economy and technological leadership," said Steve Kozak, Ford's chief engineer for safety systems. "We achieved top safety ratings and unsurpassed fuel economy at the same time by using high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel in key areas of the new F-150's structure."
New to the 2009 F-150 is Ford's standard Safety Canopy® side-curtain air bag rollover protection system, which helps protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollovers and side-impact crashes. The air bag is designed to stay inflated for several seconds for additional protection in rollover crashes, which often last longer than side-impact crashes.
Ford's Personal Safety System is made up of a suite of protection technologies, including dual-stage front air bags and occupant weight classification, working together to help protect occupants. Added to this is a Ford first – the new "K-bag," a front seat dual-chamber side air bag named for its unique shape, which is designed to help protect the rib cage from excessive crash forces during a side impact.
Ford expects the 2009 F-150's appeal to be even stronger for "core truckers," who list safety as a top purchase consideration and are a growing part of today's full size pickup market. According to recent Ford customer research, 83 percent of F-150 buyers consider safety a leading purchase reason – more than buyers of five of the six competitive trucks.
"Our customers buy the F-150 because it is a no-compromise solution which addresses their needs – work or play. So whether they're towing a construction trailer to the job site or hauling the family and towing a boat to the lake, the 2009 F-150 provides unmatched capability, unsurpassed fuel economy, and unrivaled safety," Scott said.
Towing Safety and Convenience
The new F-150 has standard safety and towing aid technologies – including Advance Trac® with Roll Stability Control™ (RSC®), a first for the F-150 – that help customers more confidently use the truck's segment-leading towing and hauling capability. The Ford-exclusive stability control system uses a gyroscopic sensor that uniquely helps detect and prevent both skidding and rollovers.
The system offers as standard integrated Trailer Sway Control technology, which helps determine from the yaw motion of the truck if the trailer is swaying and takes measures to help bring it under control. An available Integrated Trailer Brake Controller technology allows direct operation of the trailer's electronic brakes with more confidence than typical aftermarket systems.
Tow Haul Mode changes shift points under acceleration, keeping the truck at a higher rpm and further up in the power range to improve the towing experience by avoiding unnecessary shifts in rolling terrain. The technology also prevents the transmission from shifting up in gear when the vehicle crests a hill, and provides downhill brake support that allows the transmission to downshift, letting engine-compression braking slow the vehicle and maintain a steady speed.
The new 2009 F-150 is built at Ford's Dearborn (Mich.) Truck Plant and Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant. The 2009 new truck has won the following awards and accolades:
- Motor Trend 2009 Truck of the Year Award™
- Top honors as "Truck of Texas" as well as "Best Luxury Pickup" for the 2009 F-150 King Ranch from the Texas Auto Writers Association
- Finalist 2009 North American Truck of the Year. The winner will be announced Sunday at the North American International Auto Show.
- 2009 Best Redesigned Vehicle from Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com
- "Best Overall Half-Ton Pickup" from PickupTrucks.com
- "Automotive Excellence" award in the Workhorse Category from Popular Mechanics
- Detroit Free Press Truck of the Year
- Detroit News Truck of the Year
- "Top Safety Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- "Residual Value" award from Automotive Leasing Guide (ALG)
- Motor Trend's Truck Trend Top 5 Trucks from Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) for 2009 Ford F-150 Heavy Duty DeWalt Contractor Concept
- "Accessory-Friendly Truck" Design Award from SEMA