Five star safety rating for Ford Kuga

17 February 2012

The Kuga joins a highly acclaimed and successful vehicle portfolio that is recognised for its safety standards and performance. Critical to this safety performance is a high-strength bodyshell that contributes to the five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Systems overview

A high quantity and standard of active and passive safety features have been incorporated into the Ford Kuga and, like all Ford models, this starts with the highly effective and stiff body structure that absorbs the impact energy in defined crush zones and provides high resistance to deformation of the passenger safety cell.

A high amount of Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) delivers a rigid, yet lightweight passenger cell, providing greater side and frontal impact protection.

Extra strong materials enable window pillars to be very slim and help maximise visibility. Through the implementation of more dual phase steels – located in the rocker, tunnel, A- and B-pillars – the integrity of the passenger cell has been further improved without significantly adding weight.

The new Ford Kuga builds on a strong heritage and no-compromise approach to safety, refining the Ford Intelligent Protection System (IPS) further through the use of its high strength steel and impact protection advances. IPS is a cohesive system of passive safety features, which work together to maximise occupant protection. This is supported by advanced and comprehensive active safety equipment that positively assists the driver.

Passive safety

Ford’s proven ‘Intelligent Protection System’ for the Ford Kuga incorporates a number of standard safety features. A total of six airbags include front and side airbags for front seats plus head and shoulder curtain airbags covering the first and second row of seats. Additional standard features are anti-submarining seats with height adjustable headrests for all passengers; pyrotechnic safety belt pre-tensioners and safety belt load limiters for the front seats.

A driver protection feature already established in Ford of Europe’s large and luxury car segment is the Horizontal Stroking Steering Column. In the event of a high-speed frontal impact the steering wheel strokes horizontally away from the driver, further reducing loads to the occupant’s head and chest.

To provide the best possible occupant safety – including rear passengers and child seat safety – the vehicle deceleration ‘crash pulse’ of the Ford Kuga is optimised to achieve a low and distributed pulse level. An effective average deceleration level can only be achieved if a maximum of the front end length can be used for deformation and the passenger compartment intrusions are fully controlled.

The crash pulse for the Ford Kuga has been optimised and the passive restraint systems adapted accordingly to ensure that airbag activation, for example, is precisely tailored to the type of impact the vehicle is involved in.

Ford has also developed a front axle subframe system, which is designed to decouple from the body structure in the event of a frontal impact. Decoupling provides high levels of passenger protection and it is designed to release under a predefined load. Avoiding large deformation and accelerations within the passenger cell structure reduces loads to the driver and passengers. The decoupling feature is a technology that is proprietary to Ford Motor Company.

Ford Kuga front seat occupants also benefit from an advanced neck injury protection system. The advanced headrest shape provides minimal relative movement between the occupant’s head and upper body during low-speed rear impacts. The headrest is designed to allow guidance of the occupant, as early guidance keeps the head and neck free of impulsive movement, resulting in less neck strain.

Additional passive safety features support the driver and passengers in the new Ford Kuga.

Seatbelt reminders are fitted as standard for the front seat passenger and the driver to remind front occupants to correctly fasten their seatbelts. Unbelted occupants will be given an audible and visual warning. Seatbelt pre-tensioners are also fitted to the front seatbelts.

ISOFIX child seat fasteners are fitted on both outer rear seats of the second row for easy handling and to provide facility for a high degree of child protection.

Engineered for pedestrian protection

The Ford Kuga has been developed to meet and exceed the latest pedestrian protection requirements. Special actions ensure the highest levels of pedestrian safety and injury mitigation in the event of a collision. These actions include soft bumper material, empty space between the bumper and the front panel and radiator, breakaway headlights, front wings manufactured from recycled plastic and a carefully shaped bonnet edge structure.

Under-bonnet components are located a sufficient distance away from the outer skin to avoid a direct impact with pedestrians. Parts located within the potential impact zone have carefully engineered features such as ‘breakaway’ wiper spindles and ‘collapsible’ bonnet hinges.

Active driver assistance

Significant standard safety technologies provide high levels of driver control under all conditions. The standard Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) has Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Anti Rollover Mitigation (ARM), and includes Electronic Brake Assist (EBA). These systems are detailed in the Driving Quality section.

Ford has also introduced an array of driver assistance technologies to the new Ford Kuga, including:

  • Automatic hazard light activation under emergency braking
  • ‘Quickclear’ heated front windscreen on Titanium
  • Solar reflect Infra-Red (IR) windscreen
  • Headlamp levelling control
  • Power heated side mirrors with side indicators and puddle lamps
  • Bluetooth® with voice control
  • Auto headlights and wipers. Standard on Titanium series, sensors automatically detect reduced light or rain on the screen and switch on the headlights or wipers accordingly.
  • The ‘intelligent’ AWD system has been devised and engineered to incorporate high standards of its own safety features. The standard ABS with DSC is further enhanced with an Anti Rollover Mitigation (ARM) feature.

Active safety systems are a key element in assisting a driver to maintain control of the vehicle, reducing the risk of a collision. For the Ford Kuga, these include:

  • Standard Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
  • Standard Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
  • Standard Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Standard Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Standard Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)

In addition high-visibility rear lighting is a standard feature of both the Kuga Trend and Titanium. The combination of high-mounted LED third brake light, and unique rear lamp styling and indicator bulbs using the latest illumination technology underline the safety commitment.

The bulbs are designed to last the car’s lifetime too, reducing the scenario of a rear light not working.