Currently, the 13th-generation Ford F-150 is available with optional inflatable rear seat belts for an additional $200. This safety feature is capable of distributing forces across the torsos of the rear seat passengers, which can limit their chances of suffering a seat belt-related injury in the event of an accident. However, as first reported by Cars Direct, the 2021 F-150 will not offer inflatable seat belts as an option.
This may seem like an unusual decision, but the inflatable seat belt option hasn’t caught on with consumers the way that the automaker had hoped when it introduced it back in 2009 for the 2010 model year Ford Explorer. Customers have found the bulky buckles difficult to use, and in 2017, FoMoCo issued a recall for 141,000 F-150s over defective rear seat belt airbag assemblies.
Though Ford has decided to discontinue the inflatable rear seat belts in the new, 14th-generation 2021 F-150, it continues to offer them as an option in the 2020 Ford Expedition. The automaker has seemingly come up with a suitable alternative to keep rear seat occupants safe, however, as it will equip the new F-150 with standard pre-tensioners and load limiters, which have traditionally been used exclusively in the front seats.
Like inflatable seat belts, pre-tensioners and load limiters have also been proven to better distribute forces across the torsos of occupants, which can help to reduce the chance they might suffer a seat belt-related injury.
Additionally, the 2021 Ford F-150 comes equipped with a host of new safety and driver assist features as part of Ford Co-Pilot 360 2.0 that include Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, rearview camera with dynamic hitch assist, auto high-beam headlamps, auto on/off headlamps, Active Drive Assist, Intersection Assist, and Active Park Assist 2.0.