Despair can sometimes be kind of gratifying, because a pearl shines like a diamond against a sea of mud.

And despite our national American auto industry there is some good news and we believe a lot more car will follow towards making a safe, greener, and more fuel efficient MPG car.

Our products liability attorneys know from experience that new technology, especially in cars, could mean more serious personal injuries due to oversights and unforeseen dangers.  The question must be posed: what design defects does this new car have and can it lead to more car accidents?

The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Mercury Milan Hybrid are mid-to-full-size sedans that seat five in surprising comfort and offer a full-size trunk measuring around 12 cubic feet. They measure 190.6 inches and weigh a goodly 3,720 pounds. The gas-electric output is 191 horsepower and speeding can go from 0-60 mph acceleration is under 9 seconds.

The retail price of a nicely equipped Fusion Hybrid — with relatively new car technology such as rearview camera, blind-spot alert, and 17-inch alloy wheels — is $27,270.  And on a test drive of a Fusion Hybrid recently in traffic, 52 miles per gallon was achieved in mixed city-highway driving.

So the question now is, “Is this the car of the future?”  And if it is, why has it not made headlines?  Recent United States Congressional Hearings on the auto industry bailout had been centered on the notion that Detroit failed to invest in next-generation car technology that could reduce our dependence on foreign oil.  What they failed to do was commercialize this car technology sufficiently so that it was ready and sitting at dealerships when people got stampeded this year by gas prices.

And yet, here we are, with a car that seemed purely theoretical — a desirable, affordable, safe sedan that gets 40-plus mpg and is reportedly safer and more protective in the case of a car accident — about to show up at Ford dealerships in the first quarter of 2009.  Now, all that is left is for people to buy them.

This system is an evolution of the hybrid system in the Ford Escape. The battery is nickel-metal hydride, not lithium (lithium chemistry batteries are lighter and more energy-dense, but they are also expensive and flammable).  The Sanyo-supplied battery pack — 270 volts and 1.4 kWh — is 30 percent smaller in volume and 23 percent lighter than the one in the Escape. The smaller battery is easier to cool, requiring only cabin air ducted from underneath the back seat.

To make a full-size car go fast on electric power alone, you need very high voltage. But high-voltage systems involve increased impedance and heat losses, which is wasted energy. To solve this problem, the Fusion uses a variable-voltage converter that temporarily steps up system voltage during peak demand or hard braking, when the battery is forcefully recharged.

This is actually one of two high-tech converters on board: The second system provides juice to an array of high-voltage systems such as steering, air-conditioning and brakes.

There is also a lot of other technology that goes into this car, like reams of software code that allow all the various components synchronize with one another.  But perhaps the most valuable bit of software is an LCD instrument cluster with modules that coach drivers on how to save fuel. In one panel, the more lightly you drive the more leaves that grow on a set of animated vines.

The experienced products liability attorneys at our firm believe that if Ford made a few hundred thousand of these cars available in June, 2008, William Clay Ford might be going down in history books as the savior of 2008.  However, this does not mean that you should feel completely safe on the road — make sure you have the best car insurance policy your wallet can withstand.

If you were injured and believe that you deserve compensation, then call our bilingual law offices right away at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you.  We look forward to providing good advice for your case.  There is no fee if no recovery.

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