Ford Expands Use of Soy Cushioning

Ford Expands Use of Soy Cushioning

The 2009 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner will include soy-based foam in seat cushions, with recycled-content fabric covering the seats.

The seat cushioning developed by Ford's Plastics Research replaces 40 percent of the petroleum-based materials in a typical seat with soy-derived materials. Vehicles typically have about 30 pounds of petroleum-based foam in seats, armrests, instruments panels and other components, according to Ford.

Ford unveiled its foam cushioning in 2003 in the Model U concept, which also had a soy-based resin composite tailgate. The soy-based cushions were first utilized commercially in the 2008 Ford Mustang, and then in the F-150, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

Seats in the 2008 Escape were also covered in fabric made by Interface that contains 100 percent post-industrial plastic and polyester waste. The 2009 Escape and Mariner will also have recycled seat covers made from Interface fabric.