Ford Motor Company's All-New Focus Used in National Safety Demonstration
1 September 1999Ford Motor Company's All-New Focus Used in National Safety Demonstration
WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 -- The all-new 2000 Ford Focus takes center stage with the nation's top safety regulator today as an example of a vehicle designed with improving child safety in mind. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator Dr. Ricardo Martinez will use the Focus to demonstrate the first application of a new universal child safety seat anchor system designed to help make installing child safety seats easier and more effective. "This system will make child restraints safer, simpler and more secure," said NHTSA Administrator Ricardo Martinez, M.D. The Focus is among the first in its segment to include the child seat tether anchors -- at no cost to customers. The anchorage points are located on the rear side of the back seat, in the rear dash or on the floor, depending on the vehicle. The upper portion of child safety seats are attached to an anchorage point by a special tether strap, available through child safety seat manufacturers. This new system helps further improve parents' and caretakers' abilities to securely anchor child safety seats. Ford has designed retrofit top tether anchorages for some of its older model vehicles. Ford will provide available retrofit kits for free to customers who request them. In addition to offering tether anchors, Focus also features an all-new child safety seat anchorage system that's not required on all vehicles by federal safety regulations until Sept. 1, 2002. This anchorage system secures child safety seats to car frames with a set of special rigid metal attachment points, rather than using the safety belts. The child safety seat is placed directly onto the metal points, helping eliminate the guesswork associated with proper child safety seat installation. "Ford Motor Company cares about people: small, large, young, mature -- and everyone in between," said Helen Petrauskas, vice president -- Environmental and Safety Engineering. "These advances in child safety seating systems will help further improve the safety of the little ones riding in our cars and trucks -- and should provide their parents peace of mind." The Focus features safety innovations for the whole family. These include safety belt pretensioners and energy management retractors, which work with the second-generation driver and front passenger air bags in frontal collisions; optional head-and-chest side impact air bags; a standard emergency trunk release on Focus sedans to help prevent children from becoming trapped inside the trunk; the Belt-Minder system that reminds occupants to buckle up; SecuriLock(TM) passive anti-theft system; a remote keyless entry system; and power door locks. The Ford Focus is produced at the Wayne (Mich.) and Hermosillo (Mexico) Assembly Plants and goes on sale September 30, 1999.