NEW YORK - Ford Motor Co. will offer side airbags on all of its cars and Windstar minivans, the company said last week.
The first vehicle will be the redesigned 1999 Mercury Cougar, which goes on sale in May. The Lincoln LS6 and LS8, unveiled last week at the New York International Auto Show, will follow with side airbags. The LS cars go on sale early next year as 2000 models.
Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake declined to say when side airbags would be offered in the rest of Ford's cars and the Windstar. The company said in 1995 that it intended to offer side airbags in all its vehicles, including light trucks.
'We know that 30 percent of all accident fatalities result from side-impact collisions, and that's why we have been working so hard to develop this technology,' said Jac Nasser, president of Ford Automotive Operations.
Meanwhile, General Motors said it planned to have 21 models equipped with side airbags in the next two years.
GM first installed side airbags on the 1997 Cadillac DeVille. For the 1998 model year, the Cadillac Seville, Chevrolet Prizm and Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette and Pontiac Trans Sport also offer side airbags.