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Demonstration of the new seatbelt  (Source: Detroit Free Press)
First generation of Ford's inflatable seat belt could help save lives

U.S. automaker Ford announced it will introduce a new seatbelt airbag that will first find its way into automobiles starting with the 2011 Ford Explorer SUV.

The Ford system operates by placing a small cylinder of cold compressed gas that sits underneath the rear seats, with an inflatable bag located in the seatbelts.  After a vehicle impact occurs, this new system is designed to spread the force of impact over more parts of the human body, which helps reduce the amount of impact felt by the human chest.

Although airbags are now common safety devices in all modern vehicles, Ford is poised to become the first automaker to introduce the inflatable rear seatbelts -- they'll launch next fall, when the 2011 Explorer is made available.

"It's hard to know for sure ahead of time, but this airbag has tremendous benefit by increasing the surface area (of the seat belt), and that allows them to restrain the torso better on a frail body," University of Michigan trauma surgeon Dr. Stewart Wang told The Detroit News.  "I think that the potential benefits are quite substantial."

As automakers look for new ways to attract car buyers, Ford has been quick to introduce in-car technology and additional features unavailable in some baseline and midrange vehicles from competing companies.

The new optional safety device will eventually be available for all Ford vehicles, but will have an additional cost auto buyers must pay.

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RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By Spivonious on 11/6/2009 10:07:36 AM , Rating: 4
Scathing remark about how the one company Obama didn't take control of not only turns a profit first, but now has developed a major life-saving innovation.


RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By Master Kenobi on 11/6/2009 10:21:33 AM , Rating: 5
Funny how that works. Government should never get involved like it has.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By SlipDizzy on 11/6/2009 10:54:08 AM , Rating: 5
I like and voted for Obama, but this is one topic I totally agree with. If a company is failing, let them fail. I know it would be tough on families with the loss of jobs and such, but the economy will balance itself out again. That's just my personal opinion.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By Manch on 11/9/09, Rating: 0
RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By Connoisseur on 11/6/2009 10:57:35 AM , Rating: 4
Funny... I thought it was letting large businesses run free and wild that created the financial meltdown in the first place. Yes, you can argue that the ORIGINAL ORIGINAL cause was created during the Clinton adminstration allowing low income families to purchase houses with crappy loans. However, wasn't it the financial institutions that converted these loans into securities to make a quick buck? My point is: Who would you rather blame?

I, for one, refuse to believe that letting the market run without some form oversight is always the best route. In my opinion, market forces are always reactive and never proactive. This inevitably leaves many, many people out in the dust while the market "adjusts".

Sorry to get off topic, but I feel this argument is relevant for the government bailouts too. Many people complain that the gov't should have just let these large companies crumble. The truth is that if they'd let that happen, regardlss of how despicable we believe it is, many MANY more people would have lost their jobs and we would've been in a much bigger hole for a longer period of time... my opinion.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By Connoisseur on 11/6/2009 10:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry to get off topic, but I feel this argument is relevant for the government bailouts too.

Apologies what I meant to say was:

Sorry to get off topic, but I feel this argument is relevant for the government bailouts and auto company purchases too.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By docawolff on 11/6/2009 11:16:40 AM , Rating: 5
I think that most of the damage was done by Congress in 1999 when they repealed the Glass-Steagall Act (with an overwhelming bi-partisan majority). That allowed banks to get into the investment market and that in turn allowed banks to package mortgages as securities.

Just my two cents.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By RandallMoore on 11/6/2009 12:21:27 PM , Rating: 2
You also can't forget the push that Bill Clinton made to force banks to give out ridiculously high risk loans to people that never plan to pay them back.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By Keeir on 11/6/09, Rating: 0
RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By knutjb on 11/6/2009 10:06:57 PM , Rating: 5
Kudos to Ford and I hope they make a reasonable profit to compensate them for the time and money spent to develop this.

George Bush's fault was through NOT emphasizing the mortgage problem loudly enough. He did not condone or promote the loans like Clinton did.

If you go back to 2004 and 2005 McCain pushed with Bush's backing a bill to reign in those loans. The Dems stifled it. It's in the Senate record. The Repubs didn't have anything near the majority the Dems have now, so they were unable to get it out of committee.

Some times the truth is hard to take when blinded by rage towards Bush. BTW Bush isn't in office anymore.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By MrPoletski on 11/9/2009 4:51:34 AM , Rating: 2
He's still in orifice though.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By Keeir on 11/9/2009 7:31:56 PM , Rating: 2
George Bush's fault was through NOT emphasizing the mortgage problem loudly enough. He did not condone or promote the loans like Clinton did.

Sorry, but you are very very wrong. Lifted from 2004 August Press Release

"Expanding Homeownership. The President believes that homeownership is the cornerstone of America's vibrant communities and benefits individual families by building stability and long-term financial security. In June 2002, President Bush issued America's Homeownership Challenge to the real estate and mortgage finance industries to encourage them to join the effort to close the gap that exists between the homeownership rates of minorities and non-minorities. The President also announced the goal of increasing the number of minority homeowners by at least 5.5 million families before the end of the decade. Under his leadership, the overall U.S. homeownership rate in the second quarter of 2004 was at an all time high of 69.2 percent. Minority homeownership set a new record of 51 percent in the second quarter, up 0.2 percentage point from the first quarter and up 2.1 percentage points from a year ago. President Bush's initiative to dismantle the barriers to homeownership includes:

American Dream Downpayment Initiative, which provides down payment assistance to approximately 40,000 low-income families;

Affordable Housing. The President has proposed the Single-Family Affordable Housing Tax Credit, which would increase the supply of affordable homes;

Helping Families Help Themselves. The President has proposed increasing support for the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunities Program; and

Simplifying Homebuying and Increasing Education. The President and HUD want to empower homebuyers by simplifying the home buying process so consumers can better understand and benefit from cost savings. The President also wants to expand financial education efforts so that families can understand what they need to do to become homeowners."

I agree that Clinton loosened the controls, but not only did Bush not retighten them but he also pushed through initiatives on the Demand Side that negatively effected the real-estate market.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By encryptkeeper on 11/7/2009 10:35:48 AM , Rating: 2

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By MrPoletski on 11/9/2009 4:49:16 AM , Rating: 2
It's very simple.

Do you blame the great fire of London on a fire down baker street, or do you blame it on the idiots who built hundreds of wooden houses so close together?

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By darkpuppet on 11/6/2009 11:29:54 AM , Rating: 4
Actually, it's not funny how that works, but rather predictable.

Ford was in trouble a lot earlier on than some of the other companies.. and their leadership started turning that boat around a LONG time ago... Changes in the automotive industry don't happen quickly and it's taken YEARS for Ford to turn it around.

Ford was lucky that they were the first ones in real trouble and forced to sort it out themselves... but we can't judge how the nationalized companies are doing for another 3-5 years.

RE: Nicely done Ford!!
By Golgatha on 11/6/09, Rating: 0
"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser

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