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Delphi Steering Column Helps 2009 Ford F-150 Become America’s Safest Full-size Pickup


Advanced column contributes to F-150 5-star frontal crash rating

Innovative tilt column helps dissipate crash energy and protect driver

Die-cast magnesium construction represents significant technological advancement—saves weight and reduces manufacturing time

Saginaw, Mich.—Delphi Corp. (PINKSHEETS: DPHIQ) continues to demonstrate its technological prowess by providing an advanced steering column for the all-new 2009 Ford F-150—the 2009 Motor Trend Truck of the Year™ and 2009 North American Truck of the Year. Delphi played a key role in helping the truck become America’s safest full-size pickup with top safety ratings and a segment-leading list of standard safety features.

In addition to the F-150, Delphi supplies steering columns for numerous Ford vehicles, including the Ford Focus and Escape, the Mercury Mariner, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, the Ford Police Cruiser and all of Ford’s full-size SUVs and all F-Series Super Duty trucks. All these vehicles have earned 5-star crash ratings.

Delphi and Ford Motor Company engineers worked in close collaboration from the inception of the new F-150 program to develop a unique steering column, carefully integrated with the instrument panel and knee panel to provide better energy absorption and driver protection in a crash.

“Based on our success with the previous F-150, we were invited at the very beginning of the design process to work with Ford on the column for the new generation pickup,” said Rick Nash, Delphi’s chief engineer for steering columns. “This project provided a great opportunity to advance steering technology, optimize the steering column’s role in the F-150’s safety performance, enhance adjustability for driver comfort, and integrate the cast-magnesium technology to reduce weight. Working with the Ford engineering team has been a tremendous experience and we will continue to build on this strategic relationship.”

The all-new 2009 F-150 is the only full-size pickup to earn full 5-star government crash-test safety ratings—the highest possible scores—and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick” award. Delphi’s advanced steering column is a key feature on the new F-150’s segment-leading list of standard safety features that also includes Safety Canopy® side curtain air bags, AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™) and a patented “K-bag” seat-mounted air bag.

The 2009 F-150 steering column represents a significant step forward in technology. Its die-cast magnesium design brings both light weight and simplicity. While a traditional column requires parts such as brackets to be welded or bolted on, magnesium allows these elements to be incorporated into the design as part of the casting.

“This is the most magnesium-intensive column Delphi has created to date,” Nash added. “The savings in manufacturing time makes magnesium a cost-effective alternative to steel, and is lighter than both steel and aluminium. In these days of higher fuel economy targets, every ounce of weight savings is significant.”

Delphi was invited to help with the steering column on the previous F-150 when design work was already well underway. Delphi engineers worked collaboratively with Ford to develop a solution that achieved the crash-rating requirements.

The new F-150 is equipped with additional Delphi technology including fuel delivery modules, purge valves, window lift switches, multi-function switches and the electronic throttle body on the 4.6 liter, 2-valve V8 engine.

Delphi is a leader in electric power steering (EPS), a green technology that helps OEMs increase fuel economy and reduce emissions. Additionally, Delphi supplies hydraulic power steering systems, steering columns and halfshafts to more than 60 customers across the globe, including Ford and other leading OEM customers such as General Motors, Mazda, Chrysler, Fiat, Mahindra and Chery.


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