Car makers test their products thoroughly to make sure the quality and fit and finish is strong enough to withstand years of hard work. They test the car for many different scenarios such as rain, heat, bad roads, and so on. But none has a routine test for the most destructive element of them all: children!
Ford is probably the first car maker to officially declare a car ‘child-proof’. The model is question is the new B-Max, for which they have extensively tested the seats upholstery and other interior materials, tying to replicate whatever havoc children can wreak in a car.
As part of the test, engineers soak interior materials to gauge stain resistance, conduct testing with a sharp-spiked “mace” and use Velcro to replicate fabric snagging on children’s bags and clothing. They also have a pet “punishment tests” for the fabric and plastics. Samples of all leathers and fabrics used in the Ford B-MAX’s interior were tested for stain resistance and ease of cleaning after being soaked for 24 hours in the liquids and being smeared with soil and grease.
The result of all this is a car whose interior will remain shiny and unscathed for years.
“By testing for everything from soft drink spills to muddy boots, we’ve made sure the B-MAX interior is ready for anything,” said Mark Montgomery, senior materials engineer, Ford of Europe. “I’ve got young children myself, so I’m very familiar with the mess they can create.”