Patents Examined by Karin L. Tyson
  • Patent number: 5692768
    Abstract: An airbag assembly (10) includes a reaction device (15), an inflator (20), and an airbag (25). The reaction device (15) includes a first housing member (27) and a second housing member (28). In the completed airbag assembly, the housing members (27) and (28) form a receptacle with a cavity (29) and a deployment opening (30). The housing members (27) and (28) are configured to capture and orient the inflator (20) and/or the airbag (25) in the cavity (29) of the reaction device (15) as the housing members are being coupled together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 2, 1997
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph J. Mihm, Tracy S. Sparks, John F. Rhein, Jeffrey C. Synor, Craig M. Fischer, Kurt F. Fischer
  • Patent number: 5658001
    Abstract: A swing arm is pivoted to the pedal housing of the bicycle frame and extends rearwardly from the seat post. The rear bicycle wheel is carried by the rear end of the swing arm. A follower is guided and is moveable along the seat post for up and down movement. A brace arm interconnects the swing arm rear end and the follower and an elastic tension cord biases the follower towards the pedal housing. The bicycle has also a front suspension. The front wheel carrying fork of the bicycle is telescopic and upward movement of the front wheel causes elongation of an elastic tension cord. A stabilizer system is also provided whereby upward movement of the front wheel causes upward movement of the rear wheel and vice and versa. Finally, a damper prevents any up-and-down oscillation of the bicycle frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 19, 1997
    Inventor: Pierre Blanchard
  • Patent number: 5584507
    Abstract: Fabric coatings and methods reduce the toxicity of effluent gases produced by combustion of nonazide gas generating compositions used to inflate vehicle occupant restraint systems. Passing the effluent gases into a coating comprising an alkaline material reduces the concentration of toxic oxides of nitrogen therein. Further, passing the effluent gases into a coating comprising an oxidation catalyst reduces the concentration of carbon monoxide therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 31, 1994
    Date of Patent: December 17, 1996
    Assignee: Automotive Systems Laboratory, Inc.
    Inventors: Paresh S. Khandhadia, Daniel G. Zelenak
  • Patent number: 5577762
    Abstract: An apparatus (10) comprises an inflatable vehicle occupant restraint (12). The apparatus (10) further comprises a structure (30) including (i) opposed first and second walls (31, 32), (ii) opposed third and fourth walls (33, 34) connected to the first and second walls and (iii) a base wall (35) connected to the first, second, third, and fourth walls. The walls (31-35) define a chamber (38). An inflator (20) is located in the chamber (38) and includes a source of inflation fluid for inflating the vehicle occupant restraint (12). The inflator (20) has nozzles (23) at one end adjacent to one of the third and fourth walls (33, 34) for directing inflation fluid from the inflator to the vehicle occupant restraint (12). The structure has a pair of recessed portions (40, 50) for engaging and supporting the inflator (20) in the chamber (38). The recessed portions (40, 50) are spaced apart from the third and fourth walls (33, 34).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1996
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: George T. Hagen, Scott A. Kelley, Andrew J. Smydra
  • Patent number: 5570756
    Abstract: A vehicle security system for immobilizing a vehicle to prevent theft and other unauthorized movement of the vehicle. The system includes a brake blocking valve for selectively preventing fluid communication between the vehicle wheel brake cylinders and the vehicle brake master cylinder. The brake blocking valve is activated after the vehicle is brought to a stop, the service brakes are applied, and either an activation pushbutton is pressed to engage the system while the engine is running, or, alternatively, the system is automatically activated by turning off the ignition switch while foot pressure is maintained on the service brake. In addition to blocking vehicle movement by locking the service brakes in the brake engaged condition, the system also disables the starter by opening the starter circuit, and it disables the ignition coil by opening the ignition circuit, thereby further deterring and preventing unintended vehicle movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 5, 1996
    Assignee: Blatstek
    Inventor: Jonathan P. Hatcher
  • Patent number: 5566977
    Abstract: A side impact head air bag (10) includes a plurality of spaced apart restraints (100, 102) for controlling the thickness of the air bag when inflated. In each restraint (100, 102), a circular stitching section (230, 260) joins an inner panel (70) and an outer panel (80) of the air bag (10). The stitching section (230, 260) defines a circular restraint section (200, 202) in each panel (70, 80). The stitching section (230, 260) blocks inflation fluid from flowing between the restraint sections (200, 202) of the restraints (100, 102). The tethers (100, 102) do not extend upon inflation of the air bag (10).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1996
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventor: Pongdet P. Wipasuramonton
  • Patent number: 5564735
    Abstract: A safety arrangement for a vehicle includes a gas cushion arranged for the protection of a passenger in a back seat in the event of a side collision. In order to protect the hip and chest regions of the passenger effectively, as well as the head and shoulder regions, the back rest is divided into a side part and a center part. The side part is attached to the vehicle side wall and contains the gas cushion which is inflatable by a gas generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1995
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Assignee: Volkswagen AG
    Inventors: Hans-Joachim Boy, Stefan Matuschek
  • Patent number: 5564513
    Abstract: An air intake filter for an internal combustion engine disposed in an automobile engine compartment beneath the hood, behind the radiator, generally includes a housing with an upper and a lower portion which provides an intake for air in front of the radiator for scooping undisturbed air flow and communicating the same to the engine. A filter is provided and disposed between the upper and lower housing portions for removing solid particulates from air intake and, importantly, the housing is configured for separating water from the air entering the intake before the air enters the filter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 15, 1996
    Assignee: Automotive Performance International, Inc.
    Inventors: Dan S. Wible, Steve Gregory
  • Patent number: 5562301
    Abstract: A vehicular gas bag restraining system including a folded gas bag (12) arranged behind a cover (10) and a gas generator (16) mounted on a supporting plate.(18), the folded gas bag (12) forming together with an anchoring plate (14) provided with a through-opening corresponding to the inflation opening (122) of said gas bag (12) a preassembled module which is inserted within the cover (10) and is jointed together with said supporting plate (18) in the axial direction of the gas generator (16).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1996
    Assignee: TRW Repa GmbH
    Inventor: Joachim Lutz
  • Patent number: 5560637
    Abstract: A suspension for a vehicle having a front side, a rear side, a left side, a right side and a longitudinal axis is disclosed and includes a wheel carrier for supporting a wheel, the wheel carrier including an upper end and a lower end. A strut assembly is provided including a shock absorber and a spring and having a lower end connected with the upper end of the wheel carrier and an upper end connected with a vehicle body. A lower control arm connects the lower end of the wheel carrier to the vehicle body for guiding up-and-down movement of the wheel. The lower control arm includes an inner vehicle body side end and an outer wheel side end. A camber control maintains a camber angle in a negative state by pushing the lower control arm outward at the connection of the outer end of the lower control arm with the lower end of the wheel carrier according to an ascending operation of the strut assembly when the wheel ascends over a normal section by a vibration applied from a road surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Unkoo Lee
  • Patent number: 5560445
    Abstract: A vehicle lock device having an approximately U-shaped fixing portion is contained so as not to be seen from the exterior. An approximately U-shaped fixing portion is disposed within a containing portion formed on a rear fender so as to be longer in the longitudinal direction. A lock portion longer in the vehicle width direction is overlapped on the fixing portion so as to cross the fixing portion. The fixing portion and the lock portion are fixed to a hook of a cross-plate and stays of seat rails by means of a fixture. A seat is then mounted on the seat rails. The vehicle device can be thus contained so as not to be seen from the exterior.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Naoyuki Saito, Tetsuo Suzuki, Yorikata Showji, Katsunori Funabashi, Masayuki Dazai, Shinji Sumitani
  • Patent number: 5560443
    Abstract: A self-propelled hovercraft having a body or hull around the periphery of which is a segmented skirt. The segmented skirt of the hovercraft comprises a plurality of bags, one adjacent to another, completely encircling the hovercraft body. Each of the bags has front and side portions and, in one embodiment, at least some of the bags at the forward end of the hovercraft are provided with semi-rigid lower front surfaces constructed of material less flexible than material of other bags and which may be provided with internal cushion devices which support the front semi-rigid material against water surface contact.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1996
    Inventor: Ralph K. DuBose
  • Patent number: 5553882
    Abstract: A hitch for securing a snowmobile to a trailer. The hitch comprises a base for connection to the trailer, which includes a flat, horizontal plate which is connectable to the trailer floor, and a vertical post extending upwardly from the plate. An actuator is supported in a fixed position by the base for releasable latching of the snowmobile. The actuator has a vertical oriented shaft assembly, a contact member pivotally connected to the shaft assembly, the contact member movably contacting and enclosing a connection member on the snowmobile, and a latch member for holding the contact member in a predetermined latched position. The hitch further comprises a pair of arms, each being attached at one end proximate a top end of the post and extending forwardly and downwardly. At least one arm further extends outwardly with respect to the other arm to form a predetermined angle. The arms stabilize the post and guide the snowmobile connection member toward the actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1996
    Inventor: Stephen N. Unruh
  • Patent number: 5553684
    Abstract: A remotely-controlled system for the operation of the gas and brake pedals of a vehicle wherein a limited physical input is translated into desired vehicle acceleration and braking. A single joystick lever is linked electronically to mechanical components connected to the gas and brake pedals so as to operate those pedals in a fly-by-wire manner. The joystick lever is optionally tied to a feedback mechanism that permits the driver to adjust the resistance felt upon movement of the lever. In that way, the feel for the vehicle's operation can be experienced more readily. The control system of the present invention permits able-bodied operation of the vehicle without any interference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 10, 1996
    Inventor: Scott A. Bolduc
  • Patent number: 5551722
    Abstract: A vehicle suspension link or attachment includes prefabricated and assembled elements comprising a bolt or stud assembly and retainer elements on each end. The stud or bolt assembly is mounted between two suspension elements and secured by the retainer assemblies to provide a rigid, spaced, shock-absorbing connection between components of a vehicle suspension system. The invention is used in one form as a connecting link between the end of a stabilizer bar or anti-sway bar and the movable mounting arms of the vehicle's independent suspension system. The stud type suspension link includes a single spacer element or a pair of spaced-apart spacer elements which are integrally molded on the stud.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: MacLean-Fogg Company
    Inventors: Andrew W. Schwartz, William K. Hayes, John E. Bettini
  • Patent number: 5551727
    Abstract: A vehicle steering wheel lock housing is mounted as an interference fit on the end of a steering column which has an extended slot. The lock housing has an internal peg which slides in the slot and is spaced from the inner end of it. In the event of vehicle crash, the lock housing is driven further down the slot continuing to be loaded as a result of the interference fit, the tube closing around the slot after the tube has passed the peg. Instead of the steering lock housing, another tubular member could be mounted on the end of a steering column to achieve the required collapse facility.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: The Torrington Company
    Inventor: Gerald A. Speich
  • Patent number: 5551721
    Abstract: A ski brake designed to slow the travel of a ski. The brake comprises two brake arms (2, 3) incorporating two functional braking segments (4, 5) movable in rotation between a functional braking position and a non-functional resting position around a substantially transverse pin (10, 11) borne by a base (20), two actuators (12, 13) of the brake arms which extend beyond the transverse hinge pin, and a return spring (35). The brake arms (2, 3) are independent, the return spring (35) is independent of the brake arms, and this spring incorporates laterally two devices (36, 37) for connection to the actuators (12, 13) belonging to the brake arms, and, in its central area, a loop (40) extending downward toward the support and whose lower base (41) rests against the upper surface of this support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: Salomon S.A.
    Inventors: Gilles Renaud-Goud, Pierre Szafranski, Jean-Francois Merino
  • Patent number: 5551723
    Abstract: An inflator includes a vessel for a source of gas under pressure. A pulse shaping valving means in the form of a Belleville washer or a sliding valve actuated by a Belleville washer operates to shape the pulse of gas flowing out of the vessel. Other than for a brief initial moment the flowrate of gas has a slower value over time followed by an instantaneous more rapid value followed by a tapering off.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1994
    Date of Patent: September 3, 1996
    Assignee: Breed Automotive Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Geoffrey L. Mahon, Peter Materna
  • Patent number: 5549329
    Abstract: An improved ski pole is provided containing an easily removable hand grip. The grip contains an inner sleeve, an outer covering over the inner sleeve and hand operational pressure means for tightening and loosening the inner sleeve on the shaft of the ski pole.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 1995
    Date of Patent: August 27, 1996
    Assignee: Life-Link International, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter C. Wuerslin, Frederick E. Liu, Andrew D. Maslow
  • Patent number: RE35675
    Abstract: A motorcycle having an improved frame and fuel tank arrangement that define a ram air inlet channel for delivering cooling air to the engine induction system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 2, 1997
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Mitsuo Kitada