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2010 Ford Taurus Earns Five-Star Crash Ratings

December 30, 2009

The strong-selling new 2010 Ford Taurus has earned top five-star crash ratings for driver and passenger in front and side crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is seeing good consumer response to its suite of advanced crash-avoidance technologies.

The redesigned Ford flagship sedan previously earned a "Top Safety Pick" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Ford Motor Company has more IIHS "Top Safety Picks" and NHTSA five-star ratings than any other automaker.

"The new Taurus is the Ford safety flagship with top safety ratings and advanced crash-protection and crash-avoidance technologies that you may not find in luxury vehicles that cost twice as much," said Sue Cischke, group vice president for Ford Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. "A stiffer body structure and new crash-avoidance technologies make the Taurus even safer."

Safety Sells

The new Taurus features crash-avoidance technologies, such as a segment-first, radar-based forward collision warning system that helps drivers avoid accidents. The system, enabled by Adaptive Cruise Control, uses a radar sensor to detect moving vehicles ahead and provides a visual "heads-up" warning signal and an audible warning when slower-moving traffic is detected ahead.

One in three purchasers of the Taurus Limited AWD opts for Adaptive Cruise Control with the Collision Warning with Brake Support system, as do nearly half of Taurus SHO buyers.

The new Taurus is selling faster than its key competitors in the full-size segment - Toyota Avalon, Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse and Chrysler 300 - recording double-digit percentage, year-over-year growth, said Taurus Marketing Manager Pei-Wen Hsu.

"What's remarkable is that more than 90 percent of Taurus customers are ordering the higher-end series or additional technologies such as the fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine and Ford's advanced safety features," said Hsu. "The car is attracting younger, more diverse and affluent customers than it has in the past."

Safety Leadership Grows

The new 2010 Taurus earned the five-star and "Top Safety Pick" ratings based in part on advanced features such as the Personal Safety System - a suite of protection technologies, including dual-stage front air bags and front-passenger weight classification, which work together to help protect occupants in moderate to severe crashes. The Ford-exclusive Safety Canopy features side curtain air bags that help protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollover and side-impact crashes.

The new Taurus also features some of the industry's first side air bags that use pressure pulses from a side impact to deploy up to 30 percent faster than traditional air bags with acceleration-based sensors. Pressure-based sensors more accurately measure crash severity to better differentiate between a potentially serious air bag-deployable crash and a less serious accident that would not require air bag protection.

Other key safety features include:

<!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> Side Protection and Cabin Enhancement (SPACE) Architecture is comprised of a hydroformed cross-car beam embedded in the floor between the door frames, providing additional strength in the side of the vehicle.

<!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> Trinity Front Crash Architecture is a new body structure optimized for strength and stiffness. The energy-absorbing structure features octagonal front frame rails, engine cradle/front subframe and "shotgun" front structural members designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.

<!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> AdvanceTrac with ESC (Electronic Stability Control) constantly monitors road conditions and the driver's responses, using sensors to detect and measure the vehicle's oversteer and yaw to help detect and prevent potentially dangerous conditions.

    More Driver-aid and Safety Technologies

    The new Taurus features other segment-exclusive safety and driver-aid technologies such as MyKey, which helps parents encourage their teens to drive safer with top speed and audio limits, as well as a "no belts, no tunes" feature that mutes the audio system if front seat belts are not buckled.

    Taurus also helps lessen common stresses with a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) that uses two multiple-beam radar modules to detect and help warn drivers of an approaching vehicle entering the defined blind spot zone. Cross Traffic Alert uses the BLIS radar modules to sense oncoming traffic when slowly backing out of a parking spot.

    "We want to help drivers avoid crashes while giving them enhanced protection if a crash does occur," said Steve Kozak, chief engineer, Ford Safety Systems.

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