With the 2015 Mustang, Ford is introducing an all-new inflatable airbag restraint design that provides knee airbag protection for the front seat passenger. The design has the advantage of significantly reducing system size and weight while enabling a roomier interior.
Ford says it is the first passenger knee airbag system packaged inside the glove box door with 15 patents granted and more pending. The new airbag will be introduced later this year as part of a standard safety system that includes a more robust package of sensors, safety belt anchor pretensioners, improved exterior lighting and a double number of airbags.
The innovative airbag design includes an inflatable plastic bladder integrated into the glove box door which provides front passenger knee protection similar to a conventional knee airbag mounted under the instrument panel. Ford says the technology also allows airbags to be placed in new locations inside the vehicle and provides more freedom to vehicle designers.
Unlike a traditional fabric airbag, the new system features a pliable, injection-molded plastic bladder sandwiched between the inner and outer glove box door panels. When a vehicle impact is detected, an inflator fills the bladder, extending the entire glove box outer door panel toward the front passenger’s legs, helping to provide cushioning in a similar way to a traditional knee airbag.
The airbag design is 65 percent lighter while the inflator is 75 percent smaller than a conventional knee airbag inflator. Scroll down to see how the new airbag works in the Mustang and find out more about it from Ford’s official videos posted below.
By Dan Mihalascu