Ford Taurus
Your Ford Taurus Enthusiast Site

2000 Ford Taurus Safety

2000 Ford TaurusSee also:

SAFETY

"When you're redesigning one of America's best-selling family cars, safety is a top priority. The new 2000 Ford Taurus offers customers several industry-leading safety firsts, including Ford Motor Company's Personal Safety System and a standard emergency trunk release. Added to this are features that customers never even see, such as energy-absorbing trim panels. All of this has been done to help better protect occupants in a broad range of accidents."
- Helen Petrauskas, Vice President - Environmental and Safety Engineering, Ford Motor Company

The 2000 Ford Taurus is designed to take safety in a family sedan to an all-new level. Engineered to achieve enhanced performance in both crash tests and real-world accidents, the new Taurus features the most advanced package of safety technology available in any Ford product on the market.

Five Stars

Some call it the safety cage, others refer to it as the car's skeleton. Whatever it is called, the passenger compartment of the 2000 Taurus provided Ford's engineers with a solid foundation for creating one of the safest family cars on the road today.

With abundant front and rear crumple zones, the 2000 Taurus is designed to achieve the U.S. government's highest frontal crash-test rating for both driver and front-seat passenger. The 2000 model builds on the five-star rating of the current-model Taurus, which is the only mid-size sedan priced below $20,000 in 1999 to achieve the U.S. government's five-star frontal crash rating for both the driver and front seat passenger.

Government scientists will crash the new Taurus into a fixed concrete barrier at 35 mph, creating essentially the same conditions as two identical vehicles colliding head-on while each is traveling at 35 mph. Then, scientists will examine impact data provided by instrumented dummies inside the vehicle during the crash test.

Paying special attention to head and chest injury data, government researchers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration assign a "star" ranking that corresponds to the level of risk the dummies had in this test of experiencing a serious head or chest injury.

NHTSA has said that a five-star rating indicates that in its 35 mph frontal crash test, the belted dummy measurements correlate to a 10 percent or less chance of any serious head or chest injury.

Personal Safety System

In addition to its body structure, the 2000 Taurus' safety performance stems from a new collection of technologies, called the Personal Safety System.

Most of the nearly dozen technologically advanced components that make up the new Taurus advanced safety system cannot be seen by customers. But this revolutionary technology package will change the way they view frontal crash protection.

Ford is continuing to move beyond mechanical devices to provide occupant safety. For the first time in Ford production, a fully integrated, computer-driven system that "thinks" about and responds to different accident conditions is being offered.

A collection of sensors feeds information back to the car's Restraints Control Module - the "brain" of the system. The module takes into account the driver's seating position, driver and front-seat occupant's safety belt usage and accident severity before deploying appropriate safety technologies during frontal collisions.

For instance, within milliseconds of a crash, the "brain" of the system activates the car's pretensioners - special devices nestled in the front-seat safety belt buckles or retractors that tighten the front safety belts and help prevent belted occupants from sliding and bouncing around during a crash.

At the same time, the "brain" activates a specific level of air bag protection for front seat occupants -- after determining if air bag deployment is necessary at all. The system also is designed to help further reduce the potential for air bag-related injuries through the use of front dual-stage air bags that tailor deployment force based on a variety of factors, including driver seat position and accident severity.

The dual-stage air bags offer two energy levels to inflate deploying air bags in a manner that corresponds to accident severity. A lower, less forceful energy level provides occupant protection for more common, moderate-severity impacts. Deployment with higher energy levels are required for the most severe crash events.

If crash forces rise to severe levels, a metal bar tucked in the center of the spool of the safety belt retractor - called an energy management retractor - twists like a wrung-out washcloth. Such action releases small amounts of safety belt webbing in a controlled manner and helps reduce the risk of force-related injuries, especially to the occupant's chest.

Ford researchers anticipate this new system will reduce the rate of air bag deployments in half for occupants who are wearing their safety belts during accidents - and by more than one-third for unbelted occupants. The system is designed to help further reduce front seat occupants' risk of air bag-related injuries, as well as cut air bag replacement repair bills.

Emergency Trunk Release

Ford's innovative new emergency trunk release system will be installed as standard equipment on all Ford cars - including the 2000 Taurus - in the United States and Canada beginning this year.

Last summer, 11 children died in the United States after becoming trapped inside car trunks. Ford is installing a special cable-operated release system to help prevent other youngsters - and victims of carjackings - from becoming trapped inside car trunks.

Inside the trunk, a cable is attached to a T-shaped handle measuring approximately 2.25 by 2.75 inches. The handle either hangs from the top of the trunk lid or is located inside the luggage compartment near the tail lamps, depending on the car model.

The T-shaped handle is phosphorescent, meaning it glows in the dark for hours following brief exposure to ambient light - without needing any battery power. The handle is labeled with a picture to illustrate how pulling the handle opens the trunk.

The easy-to-use design is critical, as temperature inside trunks can soar quickly in some climates, creating harmful conditions for people locked inside.

On the Side

To better protect occupants during side-impact collisions, Ford's unique head-and-chest combination side air bags are available in the 2000 Taurus - in addition to standard steel side-door beams.

Housed in the side bolster of both the driver and front passenger seats, Ford's side air bag system is designed to provide occupants with enhanced head and chest protection during side-impact crashes.

The special combination side air bag - which works independently from the frontal air bag system - inflates an air bag for both the head and chest faster than the blink of an eye in certain side impacts.

Sensors near the front-seat crossmembers or B-pillars trigger independent deployment of the side air bags. They inflate and tear through the fabric covering on the outward-facing side bolster of the seat.

The air bag deploys parallel to the side of the seat, and two distinct sections of the bag inflate to absorb energy near both the occupant's head and chest. The two sections help reduce the occupants' risk of both head and neck injuries.

Hidden Touches

Customers likely will not notice, but hidden inside the passenger compartment of the 2000 Taurus is a special foam system that helps absorb energy during impacts.

The energy-absorbing trim is tucked behind interior trim components - such as the headliner along the roof rail and the A-pillar trim. When a striking vehicle or object begins denting or intruding into the Taurus, the trim absorbs energy - helping to further reduce occupants' risk of injury.

In addition to energy-absorbing trim, the new Taurus features energy-absorbing armrests designed to reduce the risk of injury to vital organs. The new armrests do not look or feel any different to customers. But their internal structure is designed to better collapse during side-impact collisions, helping absorb energy that occupants may have absorbed otherwise.

Child Safety

For improved child safety, the 2000 Taurus is equipped with child seat tether anchors in the back seat to provide parents with an improved method to more securely buckle in their child safety seats. The straps - which are used in addition to traditional safety belts for securing child safety seats - are available through child safety seat manufacturers.

Belt-Minder

The 2000 Taurus also will feature Belt-Minder. Like other vehicles in Ford's 2000-model year lineup, Taurus will be equipped with the special system, which reminds people to "buckle up."

The Belt-Minder system uses a safety belt usage sensor located in the belt buckle to determine whether a driver is wearing his or her safety belt. The sensor feeds this information to a control module.

If a driver is unbelted when the vehicle is in motion, a red light in the instrument panel illuminates and a chime intermittently sounds to remind him or her to use the safety belt.