Passengers riding in the 2015 Ford Mustang can rest a little easier knowing the car has a new type of knee airbag. Ford received 15 patents for the system, which integrates the passenger knee airbag into the door of the glove box.
Knee airbags for drivers and passengers are already available in many new cars, but Ford says the system in the 2015 Ford Mustang is 75 percent smaller and 65 percent lighter than previous versions. More important, Ford claims the glove box airbag has significant safety benefits. The outside of the glove box door provides a better cushion for the passenger’s knees, and because the airbag deploys directly from the dashboard, it does so in less time; other types of knee airbags deploy toward the floor before curving upward toward the knees.
To integrate the new airbag into the 2015 Ford Mustang, engineers experimented with various types of pliable plastics that form the outside of the glove box door. A plastic bladder is sandwiched inside the door, and expands like any other airbag if the car detects a crash.
The knee airbag isn’t the only safety upgrade for the new Mustang. Whereas the outgoing car had four airbags, the 2015 Ford Mustang will offer a total of eight. In addition, the new Mustang has seatbelt pre-tensioners, and more crash sensors than the old car so the system can better determine how and when to inflate the airbags.