It's taken Ford a long time to catch up.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Aug 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

You really blew it in a recent column in which you talked about cars that have both driver and passenger side air bags. You neglected to mention the Lincoln Town Car. I have a 1990 Town Car with driver and passenger air bags. It's the main reason I bought the car. Why didn't you mention it?

RAY: Actually, Andrew, we didn't neglect to mention the Lincoln Town Car. At the time we wrote that column, you COULDN'T get a Town Car with a passenger side air bag. They were only available for a few months early in the 1990 model year, and were discontinued in the spring of 1990. You're one of the lucky people who got one.

TOM: What happened was that in March of 1990, Ford Motor Company had a little problem with one of its suppliers. When an air bag is deployed, it's actually inflated by a small explosion. And the factory that makes the explosive for Ford's air bags literally blew up.

RAY: So Ford decided to conserve air bags by putting only one--on the driver's side--in each Lincoln Town Car (the same is true for the Continental which also offered dual air bags as an option).

TOM: And it's taken Ford a long time to catch up. But they now say that beginning with the 1992 models, Lincoln Town Cars, and Continentals, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Sables, and Ford Crown Victorias and Tauruses will all be available with dual air bags.

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