The 2014 Ford Fusion and Mondeo will be the first vehicles in their class to offer rear inflatable safety belts. Ford pioneered the technology a few years back on the 2011 Ford Explorer, and later introduced it on the Flex, Taurus and Lincoln MKT and MKZ. The only other car to feature this tech is nothing less than the latest W222 Mercedes S-Class!

Rear inflatable safety belts combine the attributes of safety belts and airbags, designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers. It uses tubular airbags contained within the rear seat belts that inflate with compressed gas when necessary.

During a crash, the inflatable belt helps distribute crash forces across a bigger contact patch on the passenger’s torso. Spreading the impact over a larger area helps reduce pressure on the passenger’s chest, and helps control head and neck motion. In everyday use, it operates like conventional belts, and is compatible with child car seats and boosters.

The new safety tech is now available on the American-market 2014 Ford Fusion, and will readily be offered in Australia when the new Mondeo arrives there late next year. No word yet on when we’ll be getting the new D-segment car here in Malaysia, or whether it’ll have rear inflatable safety belts when it does. Here’s hoping.