Patents Assigned to Takata, Inc.
  • Patent number: 5569893
    Abstract: An improved driver air bag module cover having a unitary membrane switch assembly including a central horn switch and adjacent accessory switches independently operable in response to user-imparted pressure-induced deformation of the cover front face. Preferably a single sheet of membrane material carries the horn switch, adjacent accessory switches, electrical leads, and connector. Preferably, the U-shaped central tear seam provides a major central portion for placement of the horn switch at a center location of a steering wheel. Cover side walls further locally enforce the cover to prevent inadvertent activation of adjacent accessory switches. Buttons integrally formed in the cover over such switches are preferably formed from a translucent material to provide for backlighting with an electroluminescent sheet. Finally, the central backing plate directly molded into the cover back face entraps the horn switch and membrane to the back of the cover.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 29, 1996
    Assignee: Takata Inc.
    Inventor: Brian T. Seymour
  • Patent number: 5564739
    Abstract: An improved side impact airbag module configured to be attached to the seat frame of a vehicle seat. The module consists of an inflator, an inflator plate, an airbag and a soft cover. The module is designed with a reduce number of airbag components and fasteners. The inflator plate comprises a longitudinal mounting flange, a redirecting flange and a mounting plate. The redirecting flange is configured to redirect and distribute gas generated by the inflator in response to a crash signal. The shape of the redirecting flange can be changed thus causing a change in the direction of airbag deployment. The airbag is configured for receiving the inflator plate/inflator assembly such that the airbag is in fluid communication with the inflator. A soft cover is included for enclosing the inflator plate, inflator and airbag in an undeployed position. The soft cover includes a tear seam configured to open during deployment of the airbag to allow the airbag to deploy outside of the module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventor: Phillip K. Davidson
  • Patent number: 5560642
    Abstract: An improved construction and assembly process for a driver's-side air bag module is provided which incorporates an integral inflator and air cushion clamp ring, and which is readily snap-fit attached to a vehicle steering wheel hub. The ring/inflator assembly is received inside an air bag, extends partially through the air bag mounting opening, and mates preferably with ball-lock fasteners to a module base plate to trap the air bag to the module. The fasteners also allow easy attachment of the assembled air bag module to the hub of a vehicle steering wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventors: Phillip K. Davidson, Brian T. Seymour
  • Patent number: 5556127
    Abstract: A side impact air bag module assembly for retaining a side impact air bag to a vehicle seat frame which provides a housing having a minimum internal volume configured for mounting to an existing seat back frame with minimal modifications so as to conform to the seat back structure and decrease the packaging size required within the seat back. The housing retains an inflator within a deep-well portion in conjunction with a retainer configured to fasten the air bag and inflator to the housing and seat back frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 17, 1996
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventors: Jonathan P. Hurford, Mohamed Boumarafi
  • Patent number: 5553907
    Abstract: A sun visor or other accessory for a motor vehicle. The sun visor includes a body made of rigid foam in which various structures (such as a support pin, detent and pivot arm) are insert molded. The foam has a rigidity which is sufficient to support said sun visor without requiring any additional reinforcing structures such as a support frame, support wire or centerboard. The pivot arm and detent are provided within a casing that prevents the foam from affecting the operation of the detent. Also insert molded into the body of the visor are mounts for an illuminated vanity. Terminals from a power supply are mounted in predetermined positions relative to the body so that when the vanity is mounted to the body, contacts coupled to a lamp and mounted to the vanity in predetermined positions, are caused engage the terminals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1996
    Assignee: Takata Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph R. Finn, James R. Jones, Kirk Jensen
  • Patent number: 5553887
    Abstract: An inflatable restraint housing for enclosing an air cushion assembly and securing the assembly within a vehicle is provided. The one-piece housing is formed of thermoplastic material and includes an inboard and outboard half hingedly secured together and enclosing the air cushion assembly in a tapered interior chamber. The housing is generally cylindrical having an inboard and outboard directing ramp formed on the respective inner surfaces of each half to define a tapering elliptical cross-section which focuses the energy generated by the inflation of the air cushion allowing the air cushion to rapidly emerge from the housing. The tapered interior chamber of housing also directs the air cushion into the desired position within the vehicle interior during deployment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1996
    Assignee: Takata Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Karlow, Mohamed Boumarafi, Jonathan Hurford
  • Patent number: 5533750
    Abstract: An inflatable restraint module especially adapted for seat mounted side impact protection. The restraint module incorporates a retainer bracket with projecting deformable tab fingers which are loaded inside the bag through an access slit. Slots on opposite sides of the access slit are overlapped and placed such that the retainer bracket tab fingers extend through them. A sheet metal mounting bracket is then installed over the air bag. A cylindrical inflator is installed through holes formed in the mounting bracket and air bag into the interior cavity of the retainer bracket. This sub-assembly can be mounted into a plastic housing having slots which permit the tab fingers to extend to the exterior of the housing where they can be deformed to interlock the components in an assembled condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: July 9, 1996
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventors: James P. Karlow, James M. Kumkoski, Mohamed Boumarafi, Jonathan P. Hurford
  • Patent number: 5524958
    Abstract: A cup holder assembly formed as part of a vehicle arm rest. The cup holder includes a slidable drawer mounted to a frame for movement between an extended position and a retracted position. A retaining arm is supported by the drawer and biased to pivot about a vertical axis between a use position and a stored position. The retaining arm has a retaining ring on one end which defines a container receiving aperture. The ring also includes a downwardly extending offset which is adapted to receive the handle of a container. The drawer additionally has an indentation defined in a lateral side edge and the indentation is located so as to correspond with and receive the offset when the retaining arm is in its stored position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 1995
    Date of Patent: June 11, 1996
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph P. Wieczorek, Collin C. Brunckhorst, Mark H. Davenport, Eugene M. Halajian
  • Patent number: 5520350
    Abstract: The present invention provides an intentionally set or overt comfort system to be employed in a vehicle seat belt retractor for rewinding a seat belt. The system requires an overt activation by the occupant through a predetermined sequence of deliberate belt manipulations for activating the intentional set comfort system and subsequently actuating the tension-relieving mode. The preferred intentional set comfort system comprises primarily two major components which include a belt sensing activation mechanism and a tension-relieving mechanism. The belt sensing mechanism senses a deliberate protraction of the belt beyond a distance of normal occupant use for shifting the tension-relieving mechanism to an activated state. In response to the belt sensing activation mechanism, an actuator arm shifts the tension-relieving mechanism to its activated state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: May 28, 1996
    Assignee: Takata Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald A. Doty, William G. Drinane
  • Patent number: 5492363
    Abstract: An improved air cushion restraint system utilizes a gas flow-regulating valve having an inner membrane, an outer membrane, a pucker formed therebetween, and a flow passage from the air bag inflation chamber to the pucker for expulsion through an outer membrane aperture. The inner membrane is extensible in response to occupant impact with the air bag which exceeds a threshold value such that the inner membrane extends in response to such load where it is brought into nested engagement with the outer membrane pucker which flow restricts the aperture and stiffens the air bag.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1994
    Date of Patent: February 20, 1996
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventors: James Hartmeyer, John J. Jakovski
  • Patent number: 5474323
    Abstract: An improved passenger air cushion module having a module cover which snap-fit engages to a corresponding complementary module reaction canister which eliminates the need for fasteners or retaining clips and brackets when assembling the cover to the canister, and particularly retains the cover to the canister in a manner which allows for aesthetic and mating flush-mount engagement of the cover with corresponding vehicle structure supporting the canister module. Such a passenger air bag module further provides for positive retention of the cover to the canister during deployment of an air cushion, namely an air bag, from within the module in response to a sensed vehicle collision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 12, 1995
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventor: Phillip K. Davidson
  • Patent number: 5464052
    Abstract: A security shade for the cargo area of a motor vehicle. The security shade includes a flexible shade panel mounted to a roller tube having at least one support subassembly mounted to its ends. The subassembly further includes a housing and a coupling portion which couples the housing to the roller tube, a rotational biasing spring which rotationally biases the coupling portion relative to said housing and a mechanism for mounting the security shade within the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 7, 1995
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph P. Wieczorek, Eugene M. Halajian, Michael Trombley
  • Patent number: 5460400
    Abstract: An air bag module for a passenger-side application in a motor vehicle. The module features improvements in assembly and design which substantially reduces the number of fasteners and other components needed to fabricate the assembly. A reaction housing is provided with a series of apertures along a bottom surface and an open axial end. A pair of flexible polymeric attachment members are provided which are sewn directly to open flaps of the air bag. One of the attachment members features protruding studs which interfit within associated apertures of the other attachment member. The attachment members are assembled together and the air bag assembly is loaded into the reaction housing with the studs protruding into the reaction housing apertures. Once the inflator is inserted and mounted it traps the attachment member studs in position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 24, 1995
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventor: Phillip K. Davidson
  • Patent number: 5441304
    Abstract: In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a vehicle seat belt retractor having an activation system that responds to an anti-locking braking system and that actuates the retractor to prevent protraction of the seat belt. The preferred activation system includes a control circuit that energizes an activation mechanism when the anti-locking braking system is activated and prohibits energization of the activation mechanism when the braking system is deactivated. The preferred activation mechanism is a small modular unit which is externally mounted to a seat belt retractor and which generally includes a base, an activation lever and a solenoid. The base is mounted to the side of the retractor, and the solenoid and the activation lever are mounted on the base. More particularly, the activation lever is pivotally mounted on the base and extends into the retractor to a position underneath the pawl of the retractor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 15, 1995
    Assignee: Takata Inc.
    Inventors: James L. Zygutis, Gerald A. Doty
  • Patent number: 5417455
    Abstract: A free-falling, self-locking adjustable tip assembly is provided for a safety belt apparatus, which has a seat belt retractor at one belt end and for rewinding the belt and pulling one belt portion into a generally vertical position at belt release. A tip-assembly engagement means contacts the belt and acts on a slide with a first rib on the slide movable across the top of a tongue plate to wedge the belt between a pair of ribs on an insert carried by the tongue plate. The first rib is on a metal slide means and is located above the tongue plate, as are the pair of ribs on the insert. The locking of belt prevents transfer of the belt from the shoulder portion to lap portion is at a location above the tongue plate. When the tip assembly is unbuckled, the grip is released and the tip assembly free falls along the belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 23, 1995
    Assignee: Takata Inc.
    Inventors: William G. Drinane, Gerald A. Doty
  • Patent number: 5358192
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor having a rattle suppression mechanism to be operative when the retractor is not in use including a gear mechanism driven by a seat belt supporting reel and coupled to drive a pawl control mechanism between a first position holding a reel locking pawl in an inoperative position, when the seat belt is fully wound and immobilizing the pawl against rattling, and a second position, when the seat belt is protracted, in which the pawl is released for movement into a locking position with ratchet wheels on the reel. Preferably, the pawl control mechanism includes a gear mechanism that assures that the belt must be wound on the reel before the pawl is driven to engage and is held against an inertia member to prevent rattling therebetween. The pawl is also held spaced from the ratchet teeth, when it is immobilized, to prevent rattling.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 25, 1994
    Assignee: Takata, Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald A. Doty
  • Patent number: 5301893
    Abstract: In accordance with the present invention, there is provided a noise suppression mechanism for a seat belt retractor used in a vehicle. The preferred retractor includes a reel journaled on a reel shaft and having attached a ratchet wheel with ratchet teeth. The ratchet teeth may be engaged by a pivotally frame-mounted locking pawl. The pawl may pivot between an inoperative position in which the pawl is spaced from the ratchet wheel and an operative position in which an inertial device urges the pawl into engagement with the ratchet wheel to prevent protraction of the belt. The preferred noise suppression mechanism may include an interlocking disc being mounted on reel shaft for rotation with the ratchet wheel for rotating between an actuated position for immobilizing the locking pawl against rattling and a neutral position allowing the locking pawl to pivot freely.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: April 12, 1994
    Assignee: Takata Inc
    Inventors: Gerald A. Doty, William G. Drinane
  • Patent number: 5289624
    Abstract: A method for replacing a single retractor in a vehicle seat belt system of the type having two retractors, each retractor winding a belt having an end extending through a belt slot of a latch member and sewn to itself, said method comprising the steps of: cutting the belt end of the one belt wound by the one retractor which is to be replaced so that the one retractor and one belt may be disassembled from the vehicle while the other retractor and its belt remain installed in the vehicle; installing a replacement retractor winding a belt having a belt end carrying a hook member; hooking the hook member through the belt slot of the latch member; and permanently installing a keeper member on the hook member to prevent the subsequent unhooking of the hook member from the latch member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1994
    Assignees: Takata Inc., General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Karl F. Wagner, Jr, Kevin S. O'Neil, Doyle E. Brown
  • Patent number: 5265823
    Abstract: A safety belt system having a retraction spring and a tension-relieving apparatus having a second spring operable to provide a retractive force reducing the belt-applied tensile load on the occupant to an unnoticeable level but adequate to rewind the belt and remove any belt slack, which apparatus is engageable by the occupant after securing the belt.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 30, 1993
    Assignee: Takata Inc.
    Inventor: Gerald A. Doty
  • Patent number: 5251842
    Abstract: A dual spring seat-belt retractor system with a tension-ease system operable to provide one of two springs continuously maintaining a retractive force on the belt to maintain the belt against the wearer in the tension-ease mode, which tension-ease system is automatically initiated at the cessation of belt protraction with a slight retraction to engage latch means that renders one of the springs ineffective to provide a reduced belt tension. A lost motion connection between the belt reel and the latch means permits limited belt movement by the user while maintaining the reduced tension until a predetermined retraction occurs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1993
    Assignee: Takata Inc.
    Inventors: James L. Zygutis, Gerald A. Doty