LOS ANGELES – The all-new Ford Escape combines the safety features and technologies customers really want, including a high-strength steel body and an even smarter new airbag system that no other automaker offers.
“Safety is of prime importance to customers of small sport utility vehicles, and the new Ford Escape delivers,” said Jason Sprawka, Escape Marketing manager. “The new Escape has been crashed 5,000 times in real and virtual tests to help improve safety.”
The new Escape adds about four times as much advanced high-strength steel and ultra-high-strength steel as the outgoing vehicle. Nearly one-third of the steel in the all-new unibody Escape is composed of advanced high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel, helping better protect occupants in the event of a crash.
The new Escape also features an enhanced Personal Safety System™ with new safety belt technologies and seven airbags.
The Personal Safety System is a network of components that work together to tailor the activation of the front airbags during frontal collisions. The restraint control module (RCM) translates information collected by the front crash sensors, front outboard safety belt buckle switch, driver-seat track position and passenger-seat weight sensor and judges how fast the vehicle is decelerating, and if the driver and/or passenger are buckled.
With this information, the RCM activates the safety belt pretensioners and determines how the dual-stage front airbags will deploy.
New for the next Escape are pretensioners at the front outboard anchor points and crash-locking tongues. These technologies help pull the belt tight over the hips in a fraction of a second during more severe crashes.
The new side airbags deploy lower in the pelvis area in addition to the chest and incorporate new venting technology, which Escape brings exclusively to the small SUV segment.
The side airbag’s venting technology takes into account the size of the occupant, varying the pressure so smaller occupants withstand a lower pressure.
“In a side impact, what’s preferred is a higher-pressure side airbag for a larger person and a lower pressure for a smaller person,” said Sean Ryan, Restraints supervisor. “That wasn’t possible with previous systems. On the new Ford Escape, the adaptive vent allows us to optimize the pressure in the side airbag.”
The tunnel vent is lined up with the shoulder area of the occupant. On larger passengers, the shoulder engages the vent and keeps it from venting so the gas stays inside the airbag. On smaller passengers, the effect is just the opposite: Because the occupant’s shoulder is below the vent, the gas vents out of the airbag.
The driver’s airbag uses a reconfigured curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section to create a pocket to help lessen the impact of the airbag on the driver’s chest and ribs in frontal crashes. Deploying at the same time is a driver’s knee airbag – offered on Escape for the first time.
The new Ford Escape also includes the familiar Safety Canopy® System, which combines side curtain airbags and a rollover sensor to help provide protection for outboard passengers during side impacts.
Inflators for the airbags are located near the roof rail between the side pillars, while side-impact sensors are located on each side of the vehicle. The rollover sensor detects a potential rollover and triggers the Safety Canopy System. The airbags stay inflated for up to six seconds to help reduce injuries from multiple impacts or rollovers.