Ford Focuses On Reducing The Burden Of Allergies

Focus and Focus C-MAX are the only vehicles worldwide with an 'Allergy Tested Interior' certification

Ford drivers can breathe easy now that Britain's best selling car, the new Ford Focus, has achieved an allergy tested interior certification. Focus becomes only the second vehicle worldwide to achieve this standard following in the footsteps of its sibling Focus C-MAX in 2003.

More than 20 million people in the UK suffer some form of allergy, including four out of every 10 children. Ford takes the impact of allergies seriously and has responded by providing vehicle choices for people who suffer from allergies and asthma.

Having introduced the new Ford Focus and the Focus C-MAX, Ford is the only manufacturer to offer vehicles that have been awarded the TÜV Rhineland Group’s "Allergy-Tested Interior" certification. To receive the award, the TÜV experts must certify that the car's interior materials reduce the risk of allergic reaction to the lowest possible level. The TÜV is an independent, authoritative German testing and assessment organization that controls and certifies quality standards for industrial and consumer products.

"Ford believes that asthma and other allergies are a global health problem that should be countered more aggressively," said Dr Wolfgang Schneider, vice president, governmental and environmental affairs, Ford of Europe. "That's why we regard it as our responsibility to develop and offer our customers products that address the concerns about allergies" he added.

An extensive series of tests was carried out on the Focus and Focus C-MAX; in accordance with strict TÜV examination procedures. More than 100 materials and components were tested for harmful substances and allergy causing potential. Additionally, all components likely to have direct and prolonged skin contact such as the steering wheel and seat covers, floor mats and seat belts were also dermatologically tested.

During the development of the Focus and Focus C-MAX, Ford avoided using materials such as latex, chrome or nickel that can provoke allergic reactions with allergy sensitive people. In addition, the vehicles are equipped with a high-performance pollen filter, which was also tested by TÜV. The filter effectively prevents pollen - a particular concern for allergy sufferers - from entering the vehicle's interior.

In addition, the Focus and the Focus C-MAX have achieved the British Allergy Foundation's "Seal of Approval," confirming that the vehicles are "allergy friendly." Jules Payne, head of business development, Allergy UK said: "We're thrilled that Ford is seriously responding to the issue of allergies in children and adults. This is a great day for both Ford and our own organisation as both Focus and Focus C-MAX are the only vehicles ever to be awarded our seal of approval."

Ford aims to continue to develop existing and future vehicle interiors according to the stringent TÜV criteria. All Ford customers benefit from this work since the TÜV tests involve an extensive analysis of the passenger compartment air quality, examining the concentration of organic substances such as formaldehyde, phenols, phthalates, and solvents.

Published 10 May 2005 Melanie Carter

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