Ford is expanding the availability of its inflatable rear seatbelt airbags with the addition of the 2014 Fusion. The midsize sedan is the sixth Ford and Lincoln model to offer the novel safety technology.
The 2014 Ford Fusion is already rated as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and has received a five star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; both are top scores from the respective agencies. We can't imagine that the addition of the inflatable rear seatbelts will do anything to change the 2014 Ford Fusion's status as one of the safest sedans on the market. "The inflatable belt is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries," Srinivasan Sundararajan, safety technical leader with Ford’s research and advanced engineering group, said in a prepared statement.
With the addition of the 2014 Fusion, Ford now offers four different models with the rear seatbelt airbags – the Explorer, the Flex, the Taurus, and the Fusion. Lincoln also offers the safety technology on the MKT crossover and MKS sedan. All of the other Ford and Lincoln models equipped with the belts are rated as Top Safety Picks by the IIHS; the Explorer, Taurus, and MKS received five star overall ratings from NHTSA, while the Flex and MKT have not been rated by the agency. The rear seatbelt airbags were initially introduced on the 2011 Explorer.
The 2014 Ford Fusion equipped with the inflatable rear seatbelts is on sale now. The belts are offered as a $190 standalone option on all Fusion models.