2013 Ford Focus earns a five-star rating from NHTSA

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 2, 2012

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has granted a top safety rating to the MY2013 Ford Focus after the model earned a five-star Overall Vehicle Score in the agency’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) testing. The NCAP testing combines vehicle performance in frontal and side-impact crash tests and a resistance to rollover evaluation. The new Focus features next-generation front and side airbag technologies as well as segment-exclusive Safety Canopy curtain airbags.

The airbag on the driver side features a curve-shaped tether system that pulls in the lower section during frontal crashes to create a "pocket" that helps reduce the impact of the airbag on the chest and ribs. Seat mounted side airbags, meanwhile, feature unique shoulder vents designed to line up with the shoulder area of a larger occupant, which should keep the side airbag from venting.

For smaller passengers whose shoulders are below the vent, the gas vents out of the airbag instead. Other safety and driver assist technologies installed on the MY2013 Ford Focus include AdvanceTrac with electronic stability control. This system helps the Focus maintain its intended path as it measures side-to-side yaw or skidding and monitor its speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle.

The system reduces engine torque and applies selected brakes when it senses a wheel slip. Focus also features Ford SYNC, which the carmaker co-developed with Microsoft using Nuance Communications voice recognition technology. Ford SYNC enables car occupants to bring digital media players and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones into their vehicles and operate them using voice commands or through the steering wheel's supplemental audio controls.

Another available technology is MyKey, a feature that enables parents to program any key through the vehicle message center to limit the volume on the stereo, top speed, block incoming phone calls and texts. It also allows parents to make sure a child is buckled up before using the audio system. The Focus also features Active park assist that uses an ultrasonic-based sensing system and electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) to position the vehicle for parallel parking and calculate the optimal steering angle.

Then the system steers the car into the intended parking spot. Steve Kenner, global director of the Automotive Safety Office, remarked that the new Focus is another example of carmaker’s commitment to safety – a fact that NHTSA's NCAP program has recognized. He added that the new Focus features technologies from “bumper to bumper” to help reduce occupant injury risk during a crash.

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