DETROIT -- Four-point seat belts will be ready for production by the end of the decade, Ford Motor Co. says.
But despite the promise of the new technology, the automaker won't yet say whether it will install the seat belts in its own production cars.
"We'll put no safety system in our vehicles before it's ready," says Stephen Rouhana, senior technical leader in Ford's safety research and advanced-engineering group. "We don't want to hurt people. So we have to do the homework and due care to make sure it's not going to hurt people. It takes time."
Two issues yet to be addressed are adapting the new design for use by pregnant women and then changing federal standards, Rouhana says. Current standards now count four-point belts as illegal, he says.
Once four-point belts are approved and perfected, Ford anticipates widespread consumer acceptance.