Patents Assigned to TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
  • Patent number: 8172261
    Abstract: An apparatus (10b) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14b). An inflation fluid source provides inflation fluid for inflating the protection device (14b). A structure (320) for supporting the protection device (14b) includes a vent opening (40b) for venting inflation fluid from the protection device. A vent member (300) is connectable to the structure (320) to block inflation fluid flow through the vent opening (40b). An actuatable device (120b) when actuated breaks the connection between the vent member (80b) and the structure (320) and moves the vent member away from the vent opening (40b) to permit inflation fluid venting. A flexible elongated member (350) has a first end (352) connected to the vent member (300) and a second end (354) connected to the structure (320). The member (350) secures the vent member (300) to the structure (320) after the connection between the vent member and the structure is broken.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Annmarie McMillan, Mary C. Raska
  • Patent number: 8172260
    Abstract: An inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) includes a vertically extending central recess (200) and first and second lobes (202 and 204) positioned on opposite sides of the central recess. The central recess (200) and the first and second lobes (202 and 204) are defined at least partially by an elongated center panel (210) of the protection device (14). The center panel (210) includes first and second longitudinal edges (250 and 252) that are spaced apart from each other and that extend along the length of opposite edge portions of the center panel. The center panel (210) also includes first and second end portions (260 and 280) that are spaced apart and that are positioned opposite each other along the length of the center panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Douglas M. Gould
  • Patent number: 8016066
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) helps to protect a pedestrian from impacts with a vehicle (12) that has a windshield (24) and a hood (32) covering an engine compartment (30). The apparatus (10) includes an air bag (14) that is inflatable away from the engine compartment (30) through a space (342) between the hood (32) and the windshield (24) from a stored condition to a deployed condition positioned adjacent the windshield (24). A housing (60) stores the air bag (14) in a deflated and stowed condition in the engine compartment (30). A deflector (260) has a portion connected to the housing (60) and a portion for being connected to the vehicle hood (32). The deflector (260) is adapted to deflect the air bag (14) during inflation and direct the air bag (14) to clear the vehicle hood (32) and to deploy through the space (342) between the hood (32) and the windshield (24).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2011
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin J. Boxey
  • Patent number: 8002310
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) helps to protect an occupant (28) of a vehicle (12) that has a side structure (16) and a roof (18). The apparatus (10) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) that has a stored condition for being positioned along the vehicle roof (18). The protection device (14) is inflatable away from the vehicle roof (18) to a deployed condition positioned between the side structure (16) and a vehicle occupant (28). The protection device (14) further comprises a portion (38) for receiving an elongated member (94) for helping to place the protection device in the stored condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2011
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety System Inc.
    Inventors: Thanh H. Quach, Mike P. Pionk, Ali Emam Bakhsh, Serena M. Lynch
  • Patent number: 7980592
    Abstract: A bi-lobular air bag (14) has first and second lobes (232 and 234) defined at least partially by a central recess (230). The air bag (14) includes a central panel (210) formed in an endless loop and including a longitudinal slit (276) that at least partially defines an opening (270) in the central panel. First and second side panels (212 and 214) have peripheries (290) interconnected with respective edge portions (250 and 252) of the central panel (210). A recess panel (216) has a periphery (286) interconnected with portions of the center panel on opposite sides of the longitudinal slit (276). The recess panel (216) is folded and has overlying portions interconnected to form a pleat (306) that helps define the first and second lobes (232 and 234) of the air bag (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Douglas M. Gould, Kim Popek, Cathy Reis, John Klakulak
  • Patent number: 7954849
    Abstract: Apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant of a vehicle (12) that has a side structure (16) and a roof (18) comprises an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14). The inflatable device (14) is inflatable away from the vehicle roof (18) into a position between the side structure (16) of the vehicle (12) and a vehicle occupant (74). The inflatable device (14) includes overlying panels (40 and 42) that are interconnected along at least a portion of a perimeter (48) of the inflatable device to define an inflatable volume of the inflatable device. The inflatable device (14) when inflated has a predetermined thickness measured between overlying points on the overlying panels (40 and 42) at a location where the head of an occupant may contact the inflatable device. An inflation fluid source (24) provides inflation fluid to the inflatable device (14) for inflating the inflatable device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory S. Bayley, Ayad G. Nayef, Paul F. Altamore, Douglas P. Campbell
  • Patent number: 7954850
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) that includes a first panel (160) with at least one first vent opening (142). A second panel (144) secured to the first panel (160) includes a base portion (150) and a door portion (156). The base portion (150) includes at least one second vent opening (200) and is folded to position the door portion (156) between the first panel (160) and the base portion (150). The door portion (156) has an open condition positioned away from the vent openings (142, 200) permitting inflation fluid to vent through the vent openings. The door portion (156) has a closed condition positioned between the first and second vent openings (142, 200) blocking inflation fluid from venting through the first and second vent openings. The door portion (156) is movable to the closed condition when the protection device (14) deploys.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Heather R. Kramer, Amit Sharma, Alberto Rodriguez, Douglas Gould, Angelo Adler, Eyad Nayef
  • Patent number: 7926837
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant (16) of a vehicle (12) comprises an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) that is inflatable from a deflated condition to an inflated condition. An inflator (32) is actuatable to provide inflation fluid to inflate the protection device (14). A retainer (70) has an opening (78) for receiving the inflator (32). The retainer (70) includes a base portion (72) and an annular wall (74) that extends transversely from the base portion (72). The annular wall (74) has a deflector portion (88) and a retaining portion (86). The deflector portion (88) is positioned radially outward from the retaining portion (86) and extends substantially orthogonal to the base portion (72) to direct inflation fluid from the inflator (32) into the protection device (14) in a direction substantially parallel to a central axis (37) of the inflator (32).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffery A. Harvey, Rickey L. Stratton, Wilfried Burghardt
  • Patent number: 7850202
    Abstract: Apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant (28) of a vehicle (12) that has a side structure (16) and a roof (18). The apparatus (10) includes an inflatable occupant protection device (14) that is inflatable away from the vehicle roof (18) to a position between the side structure (16) of the vehicle (12) and the vehicle occupant (28). The apparatus (10) further includes a fill tube (22) for delivering inflation fluid to the protection device (14). The protection device (14) includes an opening (104) through which the fill tube (22) extends and a portion (106) adjacent the opening that forms a friction fit around the fill tube (22). The friction fit forms an effective seal for preventing inflation fluid leakage through the opening (104).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kevin J. Boxey, Kevin L. Ruedisueli
  • Patent number: 7832769
    Abstract: A one-piece stamped metal guide (128) for seatbelt webbing (112) in a vehicle (108) includes a mounting portion (242) for mounting the guide in the vehicle. The mounting portion (242) defines a mounting plane (352). A guiding portion (244) includes a guiding surface (256) having at least one guide element (258) stamped in the metal forming the guiding portion. A portion of the guiding surface (256) including the at least one guide element (258) is positioned outside the mounting plane (352). Laterally spaced side portions (246) connect the guiding portion (244) with the mounting portion (242). The mounting portion (242), guiding portion (244), and side portions (246) define a webbing slot (248) for receiving the seatbelt webbing (112) for sliding movement over the guiding surface (256).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 16, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael P. Gleason, Jeffery Rosso, Devin Rewalt
  • Patent number: 7828321
    Abstract: Apparatus (10) helps protect an occupant (152) of a vehicle (12) that has a side structure (16) and a roof (18). The apparatus (10) includes a vehicle occupant protection device (14) deployable away from the vehicle roof (18) into engagement with the occupant's head (150) positioned against the side structure (16) to move the occupant's head laterally away from the side structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Ali Emam Bakhsh, Russell E. Stein, Ayad G. Nayef, Kevin J. Boxey
  • Patent number: 7823920
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) includes an inflatable protection device (14) having an upper portion (60) and a lower portion (62) and an inflator (32) having inflation fluid outlets (33). The inflator (32) is actuatable to inflate the protection device (14). A retainer (70) includes a base portion (72) for clamping the inflator (32) to a support member (34). The retainer (70) further includes a cover portion (74) that has a deflector portion (86) and a top portion (88). The deflector portion (86) directs inflation fluid from the inflator (32) into the protection device (14) in a direction substantially parallel to a central axis (37) of the inflator (32).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle SAfety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Wilfried Burghardt
  • Patent number: 7798524
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) helps protect an occupant (16) of a vehicle (12). The apparatus (12) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) that is inflatable to help protect the vehicle occupant (16). A vent opening (52) directs flow of inflation fluid away from the protection device (14). A vent member (60) is movable between an open condition enabling flow of inflation fluid away from the protection device (14) through the vent opening (52) and a closed condition at least partially blocking flow of inflation fluid away from the protection device through the vent opening. A panel (80) receives and transfers the force of inflation directed into the protection device to the vent member to urge the vent member toward the closed condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Charles E. Steffens, Jr., Stephen A. Ridella
  • Patent number: 7775551
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant of a vehicle (12) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14). The protection device (14) includes panels (40 and 42) and a plurality of chambers (54) at least partially defined by the panels. An inflation fluid source (24) is actuatable to provide inflation fluid for inflating the protection device (14). The protection device (14) further includes a manifold (100) at least partially defined by the overlying panels (40 and 42). The manifold (100) includes a plenum portion (102) for receiving inflation fluid from the inflation fluid source and duct portions (104) that branch from the plenum portion and distribute inflation fluid into the chambers (54).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Paul A. Bowers
  • Patent number: 7775554
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant (20) of a vehicle (24) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14). An inflator (30) provides inflation fluid for inflating the protection device (14). A support member (80) supports the inflator (30) and the protection device (14). A retainer (120) helps secure the protection device (14) to the support member (80). At least one vent opening (132) formed in the retainer (120) enables flow of inflation fluid away from the protection device (14) through the support member (80).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew J. Smydra, Annmarie McMillan, Molly K. Koenig, Ramakrishnan Srinivasan
  • Patent number: 7735860
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) and an inflator (16) for providing inflation fluid for inflating the protection device. The inflator (16) includes an inflation fluid control structure (100). The control structure (100) includes discharge openings (116) for directing inflation fluid into an inflatable volume (72) of the protection device (14) and vent openings (118) for venting inflation fluid outside the inflatable volume. The control structure (100) also includes a vent member (132) actuatable from an open condition permitting inflation flow through the vent openings (118) to a closed condition blocking inflation fluid flow through the vent openings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Karl Englbrecht, Detlef Last
  • Patent number: 7731234
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) helps to protect an occupant of a vehicle. The apparatus (10) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14), an inflation fluid source (26), and a diffuser plate (200). The inflation fluid source (26) provides inflation fluid for inflating the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14). The diffuser plate (200) is disposed between the inflation fluid source (26) and the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14). The diffuser plate (200) includes a main body portion (210) and a plurality of raised portions (230). The raised portions (230) define slots (232) for allowing inflation fluid to flow from the inflation fluid source (26) to the inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Angelo J. Adler, Douglas M. Gould
  • Patent number: 7731224
    Abstract: Apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant (28) of a vehicle (12) that has a side structure (16) and a roof (18). The apparatus (10) includes an inflatable curtain (14) that is inflatable away from the vehicle roof (18) to a position between the side structure (16) of the vehicle (12) and the vehicle occupant (28). The inflatable curtain (14) includes a main portion (100) comprising at least one inflatable chamber (52). The inflatable curtain (14) also includes a mounting portion (102) constructed separately from the main portion (100). The mounting portion (102) has a lower edge portion (108) connectable to an upper edge portion (106) of the main portion (100). The mounting portion (102) when connected to the main portion (100) forms an upper edge portion of the inflatable curtain (14) that is connectable with the vehicle (12) to help secure the inflatable curtain in the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Adan Beltran Enriquez, Bruce R. Hill
  • Patent number: 7731230
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) for helping to protect an occupant (20) of a vehicle (12) includes an inflatable vehicle occupant protection device (14) inflatable from a stored condition to a deployed condition in which the protection device is positioned between an instrument panel (36) of the vehicle and the vehicle occupant. The protection device (14) includes upper portion (142) and a lower portion (144), each of which is at least one of rolled and folded. The upper portion (142) and the lower portion (144) are positioned overlying each other when in the stored condition. A deployment flap (120) includes a sheet of material having a first end portion (130) secured to the vehicle. The deployment flap (120) has a central portion (134) that wraps around the lower portion (144) and a second end portion (132), opposite the first end portion (130), that is tucked under the lower portion while the protection device (14) is in the stored condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Kurt F. Fischer, Heather R. Kramer, Alberto Rodriguez
  • Patent number: 7703395
    Abstract: An inflator (10) includes a container (12) having a chamber (120). An exit opening (48) is provided in the container (12) and is connected to the chamber (120). A substance (122, 180) is stored in the chamber (120) and is responsive to heat for providing inflation fluid. An igniter (130) is associated with the container (12) and is actuatable to provide combustion products for heating the substance (122, 180). A nozzle (80) is interposed between the igniter (130) and the chamber (120). A passage (90) extends from the igniter (130) and through the nozzle (80). The passage (90) includes a divergent portion (110) for focusing a flow of combustion products from the igniter (130) into the chamber (120).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2010
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Fred J. Cook, Halley O. Stevens, Darrin L. Johnson