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Parents in the driving seat of safety for teenage motorists as new technology debuts in Ford Fiesta from January

 ·        New Ford Fiesta debuts industry-first MyKey technology in the UK from January; enables parents to place certain restrictions on young drivers to promote safer driving 

·        Launch comes as Government is reportedly considering proposals targeting young drivers in a bid to cut road deaths  

·        New Fiesta with MyKey owners will be able to limit top speed, reduce maximum audio volume, and override deactivation of driver assistance and safety technology  

BRENTWOOD, UK, Nov. 19, 2012 – The UK’s top-selling car, the Ford Fiesta, sold in the UK from January 1 2013 will be offered with innovative technology allowing the owner to place restrictions on how the car is used, including top speed, to promote safer driving. 

The Ford Fiesta will be the first car in Europe to feature Ford’s MyKey technology. It is targeted primarily at parent owners, giving them control over how the car is used when driven by a third party, typically a newly-qualified teenage motorist.  

Parents can program a key that restricts the top speed of the Ford Fiesta, reduces the maximum volume of audio system, and even disables the audio system altogether if driver and passengers are not using safety belts.  

It also can prevent the driver from deactivating safety technologies such as Electronic Stability Control and Active City Stop, which can help mitigate or prevent low-speed collisions. 

The launch comes as the Government confirms it will take action to improve road safety among young drivers.  

Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, told the Daily Telegraph (17-11-12): “When I talk to young people who have recently passed their test, what they say sometimes is that peer pressure is put on them to go fast, to show off. 

“They are not anticipating an accident, but something goes wrong. They are not drivers with a huge amount of experience by the very fact of being new drivers. I think we have got to look at that,” said Mr McLoughlin. 

With more Ford Fiestas sold than any other car in the UK, MyKey will quickly become a widespread safety feature on the UK’s roads - almost 100,000 Fiestas have been sold in 2012, up to October. 

Ford MyKey European system architect, Peter Patzelt, said: “All parents know that if teenagers are experts at one thing it’s finding ways of getting into trouble. MyKey allows Fiesta owners to set sensible restrictions for young drivers, and delivers peace-of-mind for parents.” 

Mr Patzelt continued: “Parents love MyKey because it helps them reduce their teenagers’ exposure to risk at the wheel. Young drivers are not too keen on MyKey until they learn that it often improves the chances their parents will allow them to drive in the first place.”   

The MyKey system forms part of the new Fiesta’s safety offering that also includes SYNC Emergency Assistance and Ford’s Intelligent Protection System with seven airbags. 

MyKey works by recognising different keys for the same car and then adjusting the vehicle settings according to the owner’s requirements. It also enables owners to programme chimes to sound at set points between 70-140 km/h, prevents seatbelt reminders from being disabled and delivers an earlier low-fuel warning. 

MyKey was first introduced by Ford in the U.S., and is now standard on most new North American Ford vehicles. MyKey also now features as standard equipment across much of the European new Fiesta range, and Ford ultimately plans to roll-out the technology across its European product line-up by 2015. 

A Ford survey of the parents of 17- to 20-year-old drivers revealed 46 per cent said their number one concern was their children speeding**.  

The survey of more than 6,000 parents of young drivers across Europe found 53 per cent of parents would be more likely to allow a teenage son or daughter to drive their car if it was equipped with MyKey technology. 

European drivers under the age of 25 are up to twice as likely to be involved in a fatal accident.***

*  Daily Telegraph  17-11-12: Young drivers could be banned from carrying non-family passengers’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9683206/Young-drivers-could-be-banned-from-carrying-non-family-passengers.html  

** Opinion Matters carried out the research in August 2011 from a sample of 6058 teenagers aged 17-20 from the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Russia and 6058 parents of teenagers aged 17-20 from the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Russia 

**** http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/users/novice-drivers/index_en.htm  

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