Ford Inflatable Rear Seatbelt to Makes Australian Debut on All-New Mondeo; Harnesses Seatbelt and Airbag Attributes

Wed, Apr 8, 2015

  • Ford’s Inflatable Rear Seatbelt combines airbag and seatbelt attributes in one ground-breaking segment-first safety feature
  • System designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries; especially for most vulnerable passengers; crash forces dispersed over an area five times greater than that achieved by a conventional seatbelt

MELBOURNE– Ford Motor Company’s groundbreaking Inflatable Rear Seatbelt – which combines attributes of an airbag and a conventional seatbelt – is making its Australian debut on the all-new Mondeo.

Ford’s Inflatable Rear Seatbelt is designed to reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries. In the event of an accident, the belt rapidly expands to disperse crash forces across a body area five times greater than that achieved by a conventional seatbelt.

The Inflatable Rear Seatbelts have been tested extensively using the Ford crash test dummy family and it has been proven to offer extra protection over the standard rear seatbelt system. Bringing together the attributes of an airbag and a seatbelt is a significant development.

The inflatable belts operate like conventional seatbelts in everyday use and, in Ford’s research, more than 90 per cent of those who tested the inflatable seatbelts found them to be similar to or more comfortable than a conventional belt because they feel padded and softer.

The technology was first offered on the 2011 Ford Explorer in North America and proved immediately popular, with 40 per cent of buyers choosing the option. The belts have subsequently cascaded across other Ford vehicles.

In Australia, Inflatable Rear Seatbelts will be standard across the entire Mondeo range, including Ambiente, Trend and Titanium.

“The all-new Mondeo is the most technologically advanced Ford we’ve ever sold in Australia, offering the very best safety systems available on a Ford,” according to David Katic, Ford General Manager Marketing.

As with a traditional airbag, Ford’s Inflatable Rear Seatbelt is activated when crash sensors detect an accident. This forces compressed gas out of a cylinder housed below the rear seat, through the buckle and into the belt. The Inflatable Rear Seatbelt is fully deployed down the length of the lower side of the seatbelt away from the face in less than 40 milliseconds.

It provides extra support to the head and neck and so is especially effective when worn by young children or the elderly occupants who are more vulnerable in accidents.

Unlike airbags, which generate heat when deploying, Ford’s Inflatable Rear Seatbelt inflates using cold compressed gas.

“The seatbelt has made one of the single biggest contributions to car safety and Ford’s Inflatable Rear Seatbelt provides even more protection to passengers,” Katic said. “Mondeo will be the first vehicle in its class in Australia to offer this technology and we're confident it will really appeal to customers.”

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 189,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit