Among the advanced technologies offered on the 2015 Ford Mustang is a new generation of passenger-side knee airbag system that's smaller and lighter than existing designs while providing a full protection in the case of a front-end impact.
Ford's innovative solution places a unique bag and inflator pairing inside of the Mustang's glovebox door. To make it work, engineers replaced the conventional fabric bag with a pliable injection-molded plastic material activated by a new igniter that's only a quarter of the size of the existing hardware. The combo results in a system that weighs 65 percent less than existing knee bag assemblies and also offers significant packaging advantages. Because of how and where it's located, the deployment path of Ford's knee bag is shorter and more direct. Since the glovebox door also distributes the initial impact load over a larger area, the system is also able to operate at lower inflation pressure.
Ford currently has 15 patents on its new bag/inflator system and more are pending. Given its multitude of practical advantages, Sean West, Ford restraints manager, believes this new knee bag is only the first of what will likely be several other types of related applications in future models. "With this innovative airbag design, we have developed technology that provides protection for vehicle occupants while also reducing weight and enabling greater design flexibility."
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