Ford Expands Industry-First Rear Inflatable Seat Belt Offering

June 28, 2011

After launching its industry-first rear inflatable seat belts on the new Ford Explorer, Ford Motor Company is now expanding availability to the Ford Flex and is set to arrive in dealer showrooms next summer.

“This advanced restraint system is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries,” said Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering. “Expanding the rollout of this technology is another example of Ford leading the way to enhance vehicle safety for our customers.”

The addition of the inflatable rear seat belts to Flex builds on the Top Safety Pick ratings the vehicle recently earned from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Ford plans to continue offering the inflatable belts affordably after launching them on the new Explorer.

Early data show approximately 40 percent of Explorer buyers are parents who are ordering the rear inflatable belts, said Amy Marentic, Car and Crossover Group marketing manager.

“The addition of inflatable belts enhances Ford’s well-earned reputation of adding technology that enables safety,” she said. “This is especially important to customers of products such as Explorer, which often serve large families who are looking for that extra peace of mind found in technology like inflatable belts.”

The inflatable belts were added this spring, bolstering Explorer’s already extensive suite of safety innovations. The vehicle already has seen strong demand from customers for its safety and driver-assist technologies.

Of the first 19,000 Explorer orders received:

•87 percent include rear view camera

•40 percent include BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert

•22 percent include adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, active park assist and rain-sensing wipers

Safe and comfortable

Advances in airbag inflation and seat belt construction methods have enabled Ford and its suppliers to develop inflatable seat belts that are designed to deploy over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash.

In everyday use, the inflatable belts operate like conventional seat belts and are compatible with child safety seats. In Ford’s research, more than 90 percent of those who tested the inflatable belts found them to be similar to or more comfortable than a conventional belt because they feel padded and softer. That comfort factor could help improve the 61 percent rear belt usage in the U.S., which compares to 82 percent usage by front seat passengers, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

In the event of a frontal or side crash, the inflated belt helps distribute crash force energy across five times more of the occupant’s torso than a traditional belt. That expands its range of protection and helps reduce the risk of injury by diffusing crash pressure over a larger area, while providing additional support to the head and neck. After deployment, the belt remains inflated for several seconds before dispersing its air through the pores of the airbag.

“Ford’s rear inflatable seat belt technology will help to enhance safety for rear seat passengers of all ages, especially young children who are more vulnerable in crashes,” said Cischke. “This is another unique family technology that builds on our safety leadership, including the most top U.S. safety ratings of any automaker ever.”

Vehicle safety sensors determine the severity of the collision in the blink of an eye and deploy the inflatable belt’s airbag. Each belt’s tubular airbag inflates with cold compressed gas, which flows through a specially designed buckle from a cylinder housed below the seat.

The use of cold compressed gas instead of a heat-generating chemical reaction – which is typical of traditional airbag systems – means the inflated belts feel no warmer on the wearer’s body than the ambient temperature. The inflatable belts also fill at a lower pressure and a slower rate than traditional airbags, because the device does not need to close a gap between the belt and the occupant. The inflatable belt’s accordion-folded bag breaks through the belt fabric as it fills with air, expanding sideways across the occupant’s body.

“It’s a very simple and logical system, but it required extensive trial and error and testing over several years to prove out the technology and ensure precise, reliable performance in a crash situation,” said Srini Sundararajan, safety technical leader for Ford Research and Innovation.

Ford’s safety leadership record continues to grow

The inflatable seat belt continues Ford’s record of safety innovation and implementation in its wider product lineup. Ford also offers radar-enabled adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support and BLIS with cross-traffic alert in mainstream vehicles. These technologies – introduced in 2009 – assist drivers in avoiding potential dangerous crash situations using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts.

Ford’s other seat belt and airbag innovations include industry-first Belt-Minder® in 2000, which the U.S. government credited with increasing front belt usage by 5 percent in Ford vehicles. On the 2002 Ford Explorer, Ford launched the industry’s first rollover-activated side curtain airbags – called Safety Canopy® – as well as roll stability control technology that goes a step beyond traditional stability control systems by helping to detect and prevent side-to-side skidding and other situations that could lead to rollovers.

Ford also introduced on the 2009 Ford F-150 and 2010 Ford Taurus some of the industry’s first pressure-based airbag technologies that help deploy side airbags up to 30 percent faster.

Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered.  Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati.  Come in today to see Ford’s entire line of fuel efficient vehicles. Or, check out Fuller Ford’s inventory at




Ford Adds SYNC AppLink to 10 Vehicles, Quadruples Connectivity Team, Grows App Developer Community

June 23, 2011

The award-winning Ford SYNC® AppLink™ software program is migrating to a new group of 2012 Ford vehicles, giving more vehicle owners the opportunity to enjoy intuitive voice control of and access to their smartphone apps on the go.

The 2012 Ford Fusion, Fusion Hybrid, Fiesta, F-150, F-150 SVT Raptor, Super Duty, Expedition, E-Series and Shelby GT500 join the previously announced 2012 Ford Mustang as AppLink-equipped vehicles.

Plus, more mobile innovations are on the way, with additional Ford jobs planned for the company’s Connected Services Solutions Organization – and 2,500 independent developers already signaling they are interested in creating more apps for Ford through the company’s dedicated SYNC developer website (

“We understand more and more drivers are using their devices and their apps while in the car,” said Doug VanDagens, director of Ford Connected Services Solutions. “Ford is a part of the solution, offering voice-activated options such as Ford SYNC with AppLink on a broader range of our products, which gives more customers a smarter way to access their apps while driving that keeps their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”

The recently released J.D. Power and Associates 2011 U.S. Automotive Emerging Technologies Study reports 86 percent of smartphone owners indicate they use their device while in their vehicles. A Nationwide Mutual Insurance 2010 study indicates more than one in four Americans who download smartphone apps admit to using those apps while driving.

Great expectations

Adding AppLink as a factory-installed, standard feature of SYNC on a wider range of vehicles, including F-Series, America’s best-selling vehicle for 29 years, puts Ford further out front in the race to integrate smartphone apps into the car, a feature vehicle owners are increasingly demanding.

Ford has great expectations for AppLink as it migrates to more products and more customers, especially Fusion and F-150 owners, already avid buyers of the SYNC system. Currently, more than 84 percent of 2011 Fusions sold are equipped with SYNC, with F-150 coming in at more than 76 percent for the optional in-car connectivity system.

VanDagens adds that the Ford Connected Services Solutions Organization, responsible for developing the company’s in-car connectivity services, is also on its own accelerated growth plan to stay in step with – if not a step ahead of – how the car connects with the latest and greatest in the mobile electronics industry.

During the next four years, the global Connected Services team will grow fourfold, with a threefold jump planned for U.S. operations alone.

“Ford is committed to building systems for the vehicle environment that leverage innovation and infrastructure and are robust to the changing consumer electronics technology landscape,” said VanDagens. “To do that safely, seamlessly and securely, we have to have dedicated people on our team who eat, sleep and breathe consumer electronics rarified air – technical experts who not only understand current technology but have a sense for where it is headed.”

Users speak out

In late 2010, Ford began offering AppLink as a download on, available exclusively to 2011 Ford Fiesta owners for popular mobile apps, such as Pandora® internet radio, one of the top five most used apps across all four major smartphone platforms in the U.S. according to Nielsen.

These users will continue to have more to cheer about as additional SYNC-enabled apps go live, said Julius Marchwicki, Ford SYNC product manager.

Most recently, Stitcher officially joined the fold, launching its SYNC-enabled app in the Apple App Store for iPhone users. Android users are not far behind for Stitcher, with a SYNC-enabled version of the app set to launch later this summer.

“The flexibility of the SYNC platform and software-based solutions such as AppLink give Ford a powerful blend of in-car connectivity technologies that can easily adapt to our customers’ needs and what’s happening in the mobile electronics industry, including the exploding world of smartphone apps,” said Marchwicki. “To keep more of our customers connected, we will continue to add other SYNC-enabled apps, smartphone integrations and vehicles with factory-installed AppLink to our lineup.”

Ford has a direct connection to the app developer community through its dedicated SYNC developer website where the 2,500-plus submissions from app developers looking for the Ford Software Development Kit (SDK) were made. With the SDK, developers can modify an existing app or create an all-new app that can successfully interface with Ford SYNC through AppLink. Categories under Ford consideration include:

•Personalized entertainment

•Personalized information and news

•Location-based services including navigation, traffic and business searches

•Notifications and alerts leveraging the SYNC ability to mash up vehicle information, GPS locations and more, all to provide the driver with customized information and guidance

•Scheduling and planning apps that could include notifications of flight status, for instance, in the event flights are delayed or rescheduled

The 2011 Edison Silver Award winner in the Transportation In-Car Driving Aid category, AppLink currently is compatible with devices using the Apple iOS, Android and BlackBerry OS platforms. As with the 2012 Mustang, factory-installed AppLink for 2012 Fusion, F-150, Super Duty, Expedition and E-Series will come standard with SYNC, as well as be integrated into the optional voice-activated Navigation System, providing the additional convenience of a touch screen for control.

Current availability of SYNC-enabled apps:


Apple iOS: Available now from Apple App Store (V3.1.6 or higher)

Android: Available now from Android Market (V1.5.3 or higher)

BlackBerry: Available now from BlackBerry App World (Version 1.1.6 or higher)


Apple iOS: Available now from Apple App Store (V3.1.6 or higher)

Android: Coming summer 2011


BlackBerry: Available now from BlackBerry App World (Version 1.4 or higher)


Fuller Ford’s friendly sales and service staff can help you with all of your Ford SYNC questions. Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s leader for the hottest, cutting-edge, most fuel efficient vehicles available. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. Check us out on the web at

For more information on Ford SYNC, including a video demonstration, click here :


Ford to Triple Production Capacity of Electrified Vehicles

June 21, 2011

Ford Motor Company just announced it is tripling production capacity of its electrified vehicle lineup through 2013, further boosting volumes of its all-new C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which begin production next year.

“Customers have come to expect fuel efficiency with every new vehicle Ford delivers today, and now we are further differentiating our electrified vehicle lineup with something else people truly value – choice,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service. “Whether people want a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or full battery electric vehicle, we have a family of vehicles for them to consider, providing a range of options to best meet their needs and support their driving habits and lifestyles.”

Ford is electrifying platforms – versus a single vehicle – to offer customers the most choice. Five electrified vehicles are planned for North America by 2012 – including the Transit Connect Electric, on sale now, and Focus Electric this year. The C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid will be followed by another next-generation hybrid in 2012.

Today, Ford sells approximately 35,000 electrified vehicles a year, led by the Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid – the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in America and the most fuel-efficient SUV in the world, respectively.

Ford will grow its electrified vehicle production capacity to more than 100,000 annually by 2013, thanks to growing consumer appetites for green vehicles and growing desires for stylish new Focus-sized vehicles.

The new Ford C-MAX five-passenger vehicle, which is the base for the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, is leaving European dealer lots at twice the rate of last year’s model. More than 100,000 of these new vehicles have been sold in Europe since its launch in late 2010, and Ford is already finding new ways to produce more European C-MAX models than originally expected at its Valencia, Spain plant.

“European customers are snapping up our C-MAX five-passenger models, telling us they love the vehicle’s sporty appearance, driving quality, interior comfort and clever use of space,” Farley said. “We plan to be aggressive in delivering products like this that people really want and make smart decisions supporting our One Ford plan.”

Ford’s plan to invest in even more capacity for its five-passenger C-MAX electrified models for North America replaces an earlier plan of introducing the gasoline-engine-powered seven-passenger C-MAX multi-activity vehicle.

This also marks the first time North American customers will have the choice of a dedicated body style for a range of Ford electrified vehicles.

Emerging “Green” Center of Manufacturing Excellence

Both the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi models will be built alongside the all-new 2012 Ford Focus and Focus Electric at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., the first plant in the world to produce gasoline-powered vehicles, full-electric vehicles, hybrid and plug-in hybrids under one roof.

The plant’s production is powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.

The new green vehicle lineup also is bringing jobs to Ford and America.

In total, Ford is adding more than 220 green technology jobs in Michigan alone as the state becomes its center of excellence for vehicle electrification. This includes a combined 170 jobs at Ford’s Rawsonville and Van Dyke Transmission plants, plus more than 50 new engineers based in Dearborn in the past 12 months specifically for the design and development of key component for Ford hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full battery electric vehicles.

Employees at the Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., are on tap to assemble advanced lithium-ion battery packs for C-MAX Hybrid, and today Ford confirmed the larger lithium-ion battery packs for C-MAX Energi also will be produced at Rawsonville. Production currently is performed by a supplier in Mexico.

Both battery packs are being designed in-house by Ford engineers. Although the battery packs differ in size, energy storage and power output, they are designed for efficient production in the same flexible manufacturing facility.

Ford’s Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., also benefits from electrified versions of the C-MAX. Employees there are building the electric drive transaxles, work currently outsourced to a supplier facility in Japan for current model hybrids.

“Ford’s commitment to grow our electrified vehicle family brings good news for our customers, employees, the economy and the environment,” Farley said.

Efficiency comes standard

The new Ford C-MAX Hybrid is targeted to deliver better mpg than Fusion Hybrid and is the first of two new Ford Hybrids to use lithium ion battery technology. Lithium-ion batteries are up to 50 percent lighter and 25 percent smaller than current nickel-metal-hydride batteries and increase the amount of energy available to extend the vehicle’s driving distance and boost fuel economy.

This all-new hybrid also will travel at a higher all-electric speed than Fusion Hybrid’s 47 mph.

The C-MAX Energi, featuring a 240-volt charging system, will be able to fully recharge faster than Chevy Volt and is being engineered to deliver more overall driving range than any other plug-in or extended range electric vehicle. It is also targeted to achieve AT-PZEV status.

Fuller Ford looks forward to the arrival of the all new Ford C-MAX Hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid next year. As always, Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered. Fuller Ford is the Cincinnati Tri-State Region’s leader for the hottest, cutting-edge, most fuel efficient vehicles available. Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati. Check out our entire inventory at



Ford Adds New Fuel-Saving 1.0-Liter EcoBoost Engine and Eight-Speed Transmission to Powertrain Lineup

June 17, 2011

Ford is expanding its industry-leading range of fuel-efficient powertrains in North America with the addition of a new 1.0-liter EcoBoost™ three-cylinder – the smallest engine Ford has ever built – and an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission.

In addition, Ford’s next generation of hybrid vehicles, including a new plug-in hybrid that will launch next year, will have a Ford-engineered transmission that will be built in Michigan.

The arrival of the latest member of the EcoBoost family, Ford’s first eight-speed automatic and its new hybrid transmission will further strengthen the company’s lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles. Today, Ford Motor Company has 12 vehicles that lead their sales segments in fuel economy and four vehicles that deliver at least 40 mpg, a lineup no other automaker can match.

1.0-liter EcoBoost: Ford’s smallest engine yet

Engineers at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in the U.K. began designing the new EcoBoost 1.0-liter engine long before the current spike in fuel prices pushed the cost of a gallon of gas over $4. Their goal: To design a technically advanced, super-efficient three-cylinder engine that delivers the same performance as a four-cylinder, but with much higher fuel economy and lower emissions.

To do that, engineers at Dunton, Ford’s global center of excellence for small-capacity engines, focused on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction of the engine’s internal moving parts, especially during warm-up. That’s when an engine emits higher levels of CO2 and other pollutants. The new engine introduces many new technologies that could someday be part of the DNA of future Ford engines, said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering.

The new three-cylinder engine will be available globally in the company’s small cars. It will also play an important role in North America.

Technology powerhouse

The new 1.0-liter EcoBoost might be small in size, but it’s big on advanced technology.

The 1.0-liter engine features:

•An offset crankshaft that helps improve fuel economy

•An advanced, Ford-designed split cooling system that allows the cylinder block to warm up before the cylinder head. Faster cylinder block warm-ups save fuel, especially in cold weather

•An exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head. The one-piece assembly lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases. This enables the engine to run in a wider rpm band with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio. The new design also saves weight and allows the engine to operate more smoothly

•EcoBoost technologies, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT)

“No one’s ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this. Not only is it one of the most technically advanced and efficient engines we’ve ever designed, but it will introduce a number of new technologies to the Ford engine lineup,” said Bakaj.

For comparison, the newest member of Ford’s global EcoBoost engine family has about the same displacement as a cruiser motorcycle. Ford has never built a regular production car engine with fewer than four cylinders.

“Drivers are going to like the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine for many of the same reasons the EcoBoost F-150 is such a big hit,” said Bakaj. “It will deliver great low-speed responsiveness, power, torque and smoothness.”

First seen in the Ford Start concept car that debuted at Beijing in 2010, the engine more recently made its European debut in the Ford B-MAX at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. More technical and application details for the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will be released in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

Ford’s EcoBoost commitment

Ford is on track to deliver on its promise in 2006 of offering EcoBoost on 90 percent of its North American lineup by 2013 and to be producing 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally. The next vehicles to get EcoBoost engines, Edge and Explorer, arrive late this summer.

“With our global family of EcoBoost engines, we’ve replaced V8s with V6s and V6s with four-cylinders – with no loss of performance and with impressive fuel economy improvements,” Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development, said. “The new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will come in at the lower end of the global range and will take the place of a four-cylinder engine, again with no loss of performance or refinement. Above all, drivers win because this new engine is specifically designed and engineered for terrific fuel economy.”

Two new Ford transmissions

This year, Ford offers more automatic, manual or dual-clutch automatic six-speed transmissions across its lineup than any other full-line automaker. From the subcompact Fiesta to the industrial-strength F-Series Super Duty pickup, 100 percent of Ford’s lineup of cars, trucks, SUVs and CUVs feature fuel-saving six-speed transmissions.

Like the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, advanced technology will be a key feature of the new Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built eight-speed automatic currently under development, Bakaj said. “The new gearbox will be the first with a number of advanced new technologies that will provide faster, smoother and more positive shifts,” he said.

The eight-speed transmission will feature:

•Ford’s next-generation clutch controls

•An input torque sensor, which measures torque coming into the transmission. The sensor enables faster selection of the proper gear, reduces hunting and helps smooth out shifts

•Actuators built into the case for tighter, more precise control of hydraulic pressure

•Closed-loop control

More details on production and applications will be released at a later date.

In-house hybrid transmission

Another new Ford transmission, to be installed in hybrid vehicles, starts production late this year at Van Dyke Transmission Plant in suburban Detroit. Full volume production is slated for the first quarter of 2012.

By next spring, Ford expects to be manufacturing more hybrid transmissions in North America than any other automaker or supplier. The new transmission replaces a unit currently made in Japan that is used today in Ford and Lincoln hybrids.

As with the new eight-speed, the new hybrid transmission is Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built. It’s an e-CVT or electronic continuously variable transmission. The new hybrid transmission will offer improved performance over the current unit. The current Ford Fusion Hybrid can reach a top speed of 47 mph on electricity and go as far as one mile.

Within the last year, Ford has invested $135 million to design, engineer and manufacture key components for its expanding lineup of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. The investment not only brings in-house battery and hybrid transmission production, it also has created at least 220 jobs in Michigan.

Ford is on track to launch five electrified vehicles in the U.S. by 2012 and in Europe by 2013.

Fuller Ford offers Lifetime Free Oil Changes on ALL new vehicle purchases – in stock or factory ordered.  Whether you are coming from Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana, we are conveniently located right off of I-75, just west of downtown Cincinnati.  Come in today to see Ford’s entire line of fuel efficient vehicles. Or, check out Fuller Ford’s inventory at

Ford Focus On Schools

June 14, 2011

Focus on Schools is like film school meets art class. It’s a fun, interactive way to encourage the creative genius of high school students while introducing the 2012 Ford Focus.

And, there’s a $10,000 grand prize at stake for one Great Lakes Area High School!    

Here’s How it Works:

1 Dealers loan local schools a 2012 Ford Focus.

2 Student teams create a video between 30 sec and 3 min,

     starring the 2012 Ford Focus.

3 Schools submit videos between 4/21 and 5/31, 2011.

4 Schools that submit an approved video receive a $500 donation

     from their sponsoring Ford Dealership.

5 Friends, family, schoolmates and the public vote for their favorite

     video between 6/15 and 7/15, 2011.

6 The top 10 winners – as determined by votes – win money

     for their school!

“Grading Scale”

1st: $10,000

2nd:  $9,000

3rd:   $8,000

4th:   $7,000

5th:   $6,000

6th:   $5,000

7th:   $4,000

8th:   $3,000

9th:   $2,000

10th: $1,000


Villa Madonna Academy submitted their video to Ford Focus on Schools and is hoping to be one of the lucky 10 winners. Please help Villa Madonna Academy bring home the top prize by voting at starting 6/15/11 through 7/15/11. Good Luck Villa Madonna and excellent job!


Check out Villa Madonna Academy’s Focus on Schools video here:



Fuller Ford’s “Buddy Bash” Raises $30,000

June 7, 2011

On May 14, 2011, Fuller Ford hosted “Buddy Bash” to help raise money for The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati.

The evening featured a silent auction, live auction, split the pot, and the grand prize of a new car. Becky Kelly was the lucky winner of the grand prize.

In the end, “Buddy Bash” raised nearly $30,000 for The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati. Fuller Ford thanks everyone who made this event an enormous success…volunteers, donors, attendees, and especially Bev Allen. Bev worked closely with Janet Gora of The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati to ensure a very successful and memorable evening for all who attended.

Hoang Van Nguyen: 36 Years of Service

June 3, 2011

On May 12, 2011 Fuller Ford recognized Hoang Van Nguyen for his 36 years of service to the company. Hoang was presented with a plaque recognizing him for his outstanding work and dedication to Fuller Ford over the years.

Hoang worked in Fuller’s body shop and performed many “miracles” over his tenure as an outstanding body man. Hoang was able to fix many wrecks that were deemed “unfixable” by others. Hoang tackled all of his work with this old school approach.

Fuller Ford thanks and salutes Hoang for his excellent service over all of those years. His friendship will be equally missed. Enjoy your retirement Hoang! You have definitely earned it! We will all miss you here at Fuller Ford.

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