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Press release from Honda from 10/09/2009:
Full release can be read here:
http://www.hondanews.com/categories/1097/releases/5221

Here's an excerpt:
The Honda Element lineup expands for the 2010 model year with an all-new "Dog Friendly™" pet accommodation system designed to improve safety, comfort and convenience for dogs and their owners alike, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. The 2010 Honda Element arrives at dealerships nationwide by mid-October. The Dog Friendly Element is set to become available on November 16.

"The Honda Element has long been recognized as an accommodating vehicle for people with active lifestyles involving sports and hobbies," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of Product Planning for American Honda. "The new Dog Friendly Element takes that concept to a whole new level with specially designed features for dogs and their owners."

Engineered to integrate with factory precision into the Element EX, the Dog Friendly equipment is intended to accommodate the secure transportation of a dog in the cargo area within a nylon-webbed car kennel. In daily operation the car kennel helps prevent a dog from interfering with the driver in traffic by keeping the pet properly restrained and out of reach of the driver. In the event of a frontal collision, the kennel is intended to help restrain the dog behind the rear seats, reducing the chance for the pet to be injured - or to injure human occupants during a crash.

The Dog Friendly equipment enhances pet comfort by providing a soft floor surface for the dog's legs and paws along with a dedicated fan and a spill resistant water source. Convenience is improved for owners with an integrated ramp, easy to clean surfaces and a full suite of matching Dog Friendly accoutrements.

Major components include:

* a soft-sided cargo area car kennel made from seat belt-grade netting;
* a cushioned pet bed in the cargo area with an elevated platform;
* a 12V DC rear ventilation fan;
* second-row seat covers with a dog pattern design (matches the bed fabric);
* an extendable ramp (stores under the pet bed platform);
* all-season rubber floor mats with a toy bone pattern;
* a spill-resistant water bowl; and
* Dog Friendly exterior emblems (driver's side and rear).

The ramp stores underneath the bed platform and can be conveniently accessed when the rear tailgate is down. The car kennel was designed and is being constructed by Takata Corporation, one of the world's leading automotive safety systems suppliers. The Dog Friendly equipment group has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $995.

Already designed to be people friendly, the Honda Element received numerous upgrades for the 2009 model year that included a new exterior appearance and a refreshed interior design. Three unique Element models are available that range from the rugged and simple Element LX, to the more refined Element EX, to the sporty Element SC. The Dog Friendly equipment group is designed exclusively for the Element EX trim level.
 

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Well, our Aussie has never needed any of this, but it certainly is a cool accessory package.

She just lays down on the floor between the front and rear seat, occasionally nuzzling our arms for attention.

Maybe they'll offer the 'dog friendly' badges....
 
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