The inflatable rear belts will be replaced with other technologies such as pre-tensioners and load limiters.
The Ford F-Series is poised to enter its 14th generation. The new F-150 will go on sale in the fall as a 2021 model, and its 40-page order guide is packed full of features, options, and equipment. However, you won't find inflatable rear seat belts in the mix. According to CarsDirect, the safety feature isn't offered for the new truck and a Ford spokesperson confirmed this in an email to Motor1.com.
Furthermore, Ford also confirmed that inflatable rear seat belts will be deleted from other models as they are freshened or updated. In place of the inflatable belts will be other technologies, which for the F-150 means standard-issue pre-tensioners and load limiters on outboard rear seats. Other vehicles will eventually receive similar technologies, according to Ford.
The automaker made something of a big deal on this back in the day, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety highlighted Ford’s inflatable belt as a possible solution to reducing rear-seat injuries during a crash. It was introduced on the 2011 Ford Explorer, but it wasn't without controversy. There were compatibility issues with some child car seats, and in 2017 Ford issued a recall for over 117,000 F-Series trucks over defective inflatable seat belt assemblies.
As for the F-150, we suspect there will be plenty of other features grabbing the attention of buyers. Aside from 11 grilles, numerous trims, and pages upon pages of optional equipment, a hybrid model with 700 miles of range and an onboard generator to power plug-in items will enter the scene. Called PowerBoost, it will utilize the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with a 35-kilowatt electric motor and a modest 1.5-kilowatt-hour battery. Electric-only range will be limited, but we expect this charged F-150 to be the most powerful ever offered from the factory.
Look for Ford to announce horsepower ratings and specific pricing across the spectrum closer to the F-150’s on-sale date later this year.