Instrument Panel Or Dashboard Patents (Class 280/752)
  • Patent number: 11054685
    Abstract: A bracket for mounting center stack modules in an instrument panel assembly of a vehicle is provided. The bracket comprises a first bracket half and a second bracket half, each extending substantially at a longitudinal direction of the vehicle and spaced apart laterally. Each of the first and second bracket halves comprises a first end, a second end and a body between the first end and second end. The first end is connected to a cross car beam, and the second end is connected to the center stack module. The body includes a deformable element collapsible by an impact force. Further, the first bracket half includes a first main surface and the second bracket half includes a second main surface which are substantially perpendicular to a floor of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Zen Faraj, Paul Madavanakkatt, Achuta Annedi, Tien Vo
  • Patent number: 10988098
    Abstract: An air bag mounting interior trim that efficiently pressurizes and welds ribs of a retainer and an instrument panel includes: a retainer having a first wall portion disposed at a deployment side of the air bag; and a panel having a second wall portion opposed to the first wall portion, at the deployment side of the first wall portion. The first and second wall portions each have an inclined face inclined in a pressurizing direction at assembly of the retainer and the panel. The retainer has a first rib protruding along the pressurizing direction from the inclined face of the first wall portion toward the panel side. The panel has a second rib protruding along the pressurizing direction from the inclined face of the second wall portion toward the retainer side. The first and second ribs have weld end faces that face each other in parallel, and that are aligned with the pressurizing direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: TOYODA GOSEI CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Shunta Asakuma, Chiharu Totani, Hiroshi Iwata, Hajime Takai
  • Patent number: 10899281
    Abstract: A backing section is adjacently disposed in front, in a front-and-rear direction of the vehicle, of an upper portion of a door section of a glove box, and inhibits the door section from moving further forward from a position at a time of the glove box being in a closed state. A reinforcing bead for enhancing rigidity is formed on a contact surface of the backing section with the door section. When a vehicle comes into a frontal collision, and knees K of a passenger collide with the backing section, the backing section becomes difficult to deform. If the backing section does not deform, a reaction force from the backing section is transmitted to the knees K via the door section, and forward movement of the knees K is restrained.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Yasunobu Yamazaki, Manami Nakamura
  • Patent number: 10829143
    Abstract: An assembly is disclosed, in which a rigid ramp is rigidly connected to a tubular upper part of a steering column for interaction with a displaceable part of an instrument panel. Interaction between the tubular upper part and the displaceable part moves the displaceable part in a reliable manner out of the way during an impact scenario, during which a steering wheel is displaced towards the instrument panel. Displacement of the displaceable part by the rigid ramp permits the steering wheel to be fully displaced without the instrument panel hindering such motion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Edward Joseph Abramoski, Paul Mark Marable, Pieter Christopher Van Ast
  • Patent number: 10829075
    Abstract: In a knee-airbag-device attachment structure of a knee-airbag device, an instrument-panel-member side bracket which connects the knee-airbag device and an instrument panel member to support the knee-airbag device comprises a branch bracket which is connected to an instrument panel core. The knee-airbag-device attachment structure further comprises a vehicle-body side bracket which connects the knee-airbag device and a hinge pillar of a vehicle body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2020
    Assignee: MAZDA MOTOR CORPORATION
    Inventors: Satoru Nakamura, Hideharu Kaeriyama
  • Patent number: 10794094
    Abstract: A glove box retainer for a glove box comprises a tab or a catch on a forward portion of a movable bin received within a surround and a corresponding catch or tab on a forward portion of a surround disposed forward of the tab or catch on the movable bin when the movable bin is in a closed position. The movable bin displaces the tab or the catch on the movable bin so that it is juxtaposed against and displaced forward of the catch or tab on the surround to retain the glove box in the closed position during a frontal impact event.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Vijaykumar Hegde, Matthew J. Hickey, Thomas Junior Luckett
  • Patent number: 10479307
    Abstract: An apparatus for controlling a crash pad may include a hinge disposed at a lower portion of a knee bolster of the crash pad; a first guide rail configured to drive the hinge; a second guide rail configured to drive the hinge; a first gear configured to drive the first guide rail; a first actuator configured to drive the first gear in response to a signal to operate a vehicle seat; and a second actuator configured to drive the second gear in response to a seat operation signal for the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Hye Kyung Kim
  • Patent number: 10442384
    Abstract: A vehicle component may include a crossbeam, a cylinder, a piston, a panel, and a heterogeneous mixture. The cylinder has a chamber and is fixed relative to the crossbeam. The piston is linearly movable in the chamber. The panel is fixed relative to the piston. The heterogeneous mixture is enclosed by the piston in the chamber. The heterogeneous mixture includes hydrophobic nanoporous particles and a liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Mohammad Omar Faruque, Robert William McCoy, James Chih Cheng, Saeed David Barbat
  • Patent number: 10206625
    Abstract: Provided are embodiments of systems, computer medium and computer-implemented methods for sensing health characteristics of a user using a chair pad including a set of health sensors integrated therewith and including temperature sensors, body position sensors, and body fat sensors. A method for sensing health characteristics of a user including receiving, from the temperature sensors, temperature data corresponding to a sensed body temperature of the user, receiving, from the body position sensors, body position data corresponding to a sensed body position of the user, receiving, from the body fat sensors, body fat data corresponding to a sensed body fat of the user, and transmitting, to a computer workstation, health data corresponding to the temperature data, the body position data, and the body fat data for use in determining the body temperature, the body position, and the body fat of the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventor: Samantha J. Horseman
  • Patent number: 10160417
    Abstract: An assembly includes a base having a pinion. The assembly includes an airbag supported by the base. The assembly includes a rack configured to engage the pinion. The assembly includes a pyrotechnic device configured to move the rack relative to the base and cause the rack to engage the pinion and rotate the base upon actuation of the pyrotechnic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Srinivas Reddy Malapati, Gustavo Morales Cabrera, Luis Enrique Castillo Jaime, Jorge Carlos Tellez Valdes
  • Patent number: 10112573
    Abstract: An assembly includes a base having a pinion. The assembly includes an airbag supported by the base. The assembly includes a rack configured to engage the pinion. The assembly includes a pyrotechnic device configured to move the rack relative to the base and cause the rack to engage the pinion and rotate the base upon actuation of the pyrotechnic device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2018
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Srinivas Reddy Malapati, Gustavo Morales Cabrera, Luis Enrique Castillo Jaime, Jorge Carlos Tellez Valdes
  • Patent number: 10005436
    Abstract: A brake pedal apparatus for a vehicle has a pedal member manufactured by bending one steel plate. A pedal arm is forcibly rotated forwards by the pedal member being deformed in the event of crash or rear-end collision.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Eun Sik Kim
  • Patent number: 9902359
    Abstract: Disclosed is an airbag apparatus which comprises: a first airbag configured to be deployed rearwardly from a steering wheel during an oblique collision of a vehicle; and a second airbag configured to be deployed rearwardly and upwardly from a position below a steering shaft during the oblique collision of the vehicle. The second airbag comprises an upward deployment portion capable of, in its deployed state, extending upwardly via a lateral side of the steering shaft, wherein the upward deployment portion is disposed between a lateral portion of the first airbag in its deployed state and an instrument panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Assignee: MAZDA MOTOR CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiroaki Takeshita, Takashi Nagatani, Motoharu Hirata, Mitsutoshi Yamanishi, Motoharu Sato
  • Patent number: 9845065
    Abstract: A knee bolster device for a vehicle is intended to enhance passenger safety performance by minimizing injury to passengers when a collision occurs. The knee bolster device is capable of preventing injury to passengers striking a lower crash pad panel and penetrating into an inner space of the lower crash pad panel because the lower crash pad panel is reinforced by a composite material and an impact energy absorbing structure installed in the inner space of the lower crash pad panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Coporation, LG Hausys, Ltd., Hyundai Mobis Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jae Hyun An, Yong Han Kang, Sang Hyeon Park, Young Pyo Lee
  • Patent number: 9193322
    Abstract: A glove compartment box energy having a tear seam on an inner wall is provided. The glove compartment box is mounted in an instrument panel of a vehicle. The tear seam is configured to allow a rearward moving structure from within the instrument panel such as a portion of the vehicle HVAC system to rupture the tear seam and enter an interior volume of the glove compartment box. The glove compartment box further has a frangible portion disposed on the inner wall. The frangible portion extends towards an interior of the instrument panel to concentrate stress on the tear seam. The tear seam and frangible portion prevent the rearward moving structure from displacing the glove compartment box rearward into a passenger compartment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Robert A. Porcs, Philip J. Babian, Emily A. Khouphongsy
  • Patent number: 9156408
    Abstract: An active glove box system comprises an instrument panel and a glove box door. The instrument panel housing defines a door space bordered by a curb flange along top and lateral sides of the door space. The glove box door comprises a trim wall providing an outside trim surface of the door, a bladder wall sealed along an outer edge to the trim wall defining an inflatable cavity, and a reaction wall. The reaction wall defines a back surface of the door, is attached to the bladder wall, and has an outer fringe surface abutting the curb flange when the door is closed. The fringe surface and the curb flange comprise interlocking features configured to engage and disengage in a door opening direction and to provide interference against movement of the reaction wall along an inward perpendicular direction when engaged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventors: Stacey H. Raines, Sean B. West, Thomas W. Pietila, Anthony Ligi, Jr., Edward J. Abramoski
  • Patent number: 9085096
    Abstract: An integrated structural system for a vehicle, the system having: a structural member; a means for securing a first beam component to the structural member, the first beam component being molded from a first amount of thermoplastic material; and a means for securing a second beam component to the first beam component, the second beam component being separately molded from a second amount of thermoplastic material, the second beam component having a configuration different from the first beam component.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Assignee: INTEVA PRODUCTS, LLC
    Inventors: Edward J. Wenzel, Robert Van Jaarsveld, Ronald Widin, Joseph A. Bertucci, Gregory J. Kowalski
  • Patent number: 9004580
    Abstract: A support structure is configured for locating an instrument panel within a passenger compartment of a vehicle. The support structure includes a support bracket and an end bracket. The support bracket is attached to a body panel of the vehicle. The support bracket includes a lateral biasing guide. The end bracket is attached to an end of the instrument panel. The end bracket has a first side. The first side abuts the lateral biasing guide of the support bracket such that the lateral biasing guide biases the instrument panel in a lateral direction until the end bracket abuts the lateral datum surface of the first body panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Rudy M. Vican, Michael R Kaphengst, Rick J. Ferrara, Denis L. Arnold
  • Patent number: 8998298
    Abstract: An energy absorber includes a base sheet and a plurality of recovering crush lobes extending from the base sheet. The crush lobes protect an adjacent object by cushioning the blow following repeated impacts in both vehicular and non-vehicular (e.g. helmets) environments. Each crush lobe includes a side wall that is oriented to buckle or bend and then spring back after absorbing energy when impacted. At least one of the base sheet and an end wall of at least one crush lobe optionally includes a number (X) of integrally-formed protruding countermeasures where 0<=X<1000 of lower standing strength than the crush lobes. Methods related to the above are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Oakwood Energy Management, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew M. Gerwolls, Michael A. Rossi, Dane Winbigler, Donald S Smith, Joel M. Cormier, Richard F. Audi
  • Patent number: 8997433
    Abstract: A trim assembly having a trim element and a first concealing element extending away from the trim element and being movable relative to the trim element. The trim assembly further includes at least one second rigid concealing element, extending from the trim element to the first concealing element and designed to conceal the space between the trim element and the first concealing element. The second concealing element is secured to the trim element and is biased against part of the first concealing element so as to bear against that part of the first concealing element in all positions of the first concealing element with respect to the trim element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Faurecia Interieur Industrie
    Inventors: Stéphane Fabris, Jacques Bergerioux
  • Patent number: 8993091
    Abstract: A foam-filled panel is provided. The foam-filled panel can have a substrate layer with a padded area, an unpadded area, an opening within said unpadded area, and a bounding region between the padded area and the unpadded area. A skin can extend across the padded area of the substrate layer and a foam layer can be present between the padded area of the substrate layer and the skin. In addition, a disposable foam injection port is attached to the substrate layer at the bounding region of the padded area and can extend into and be an obstruction to the opening. The disposable foam injection port can be in fluid communication with the foam layer and unattaching the disposable foam injection port from the substrate layer can remove the obstruction to the opening.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Kerry Scott Zellner, Jr., Chase Nelson
  • Publication number: 20150054270
    Abstract: According to a method of forming a crash pad and a crash pad formed thereby according to the present invention, skin is formed to be minimized in size so as to have a shape similar to a final shape, thereby minimizing portions of the skin which are discarded, and reducing manufacturing costs.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 13, 2014
    Publication date: February 26, 2015
    Inventor: Byung Young KANG
  • Patent number: 8936273
    Abstract: An active bolster at an interior trim surface of an automotive vehicle has a plastic-molded outer trim panel and a plastic-molded expandable bladder member. The bladder member has a central attachment section configured to attach to a support structure of the vehicle, a welding flange welded to the trim panel, and a baffle section between the attachment section and the welding flange. An inflator couples an inflation gas into a space between the trim panel and bladder member to expand the bladder member in response to a crash event of the vehicle. The welding flange has a generally-rectangular profile with a pair of long edges and a pair of short edges. The baffle section includes circumferential pleats providing an expansion length of the bladder member that is greater at the long edges than at the short edges to reduce stress on the weld along its weakest point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2015
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Stacey H. Raines, Nicholas A. Mazzocchi, Sean B. West
  • Patent number: 8931803
    Abstract: Provided is an active bolster for a vehicle occupant, the active bolster comprising a rear panel, an internal structure, and a front panel. The internal structure is disposed between the rear panel and the front panel, and the internal structure and rear panel together forming a hollow chamber in communication with an inflation device. The hollow chamber is expandable on activation of the inflation device. The internal structure has at least one expandable element such that upon pressurization of the hollow chamber by the inflation device, at least a portion of the at least one expandable element undergoes deformation to permit inflation of the hollow chamber, thereby displacing the rear panel rearwardly to an extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: Salflex Polymers Ltd.
    Inventor: Raj S. Roychoudhury
  • Patent number: 8882144
    Abstract: A knee collision protection structure for a vehicle includes a glove box provided at a lower portion of an instrument panel and including a storage part and a panel part provided to stand on a cabin side of the storage part and configuring part of the instrument panel, and a shaft member provided on the vehicle front side than the panel part of the glove box and on the upper side than the storage part and extending in a vehicle widthwise direction. The glove box is provided so as to rotate around the shaft member when a knee of an occupant seated on a seat opposed to the glove box collides with a lower portion of the panel part than the shaft member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Jidosha Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Makoto Takai
  • Patent number: 8864170
    Abstract: A bag body of an airbag includes a recessed area that is sunken forward and extends vertically generally at the center in a left and right direction of the passenger side wall. The airbag internally includes a vertical tether that pulls the front end of the recessed area forward at airbag deployment. The airbag further includes two horizontal tethers; an upper horizontal tether and a lower horizontal tether, which connect the left side wall and right side wall of the bag body, respectively, and are deployable generally in a left and right direction in order to limit the clearance between the left side wall and right side wall. The upper horizontal tether is located in an area above the vertical tether and the lower horizontal tether is located in an area below the vertical tether.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ikuo Yamada, Shinichi Ishida, Masashi Hashiba
  • Patent number: 8840142
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant knee protection apparatus is provided in which the front end of an upper bracket is fixed to an instrument panel reinforcement, and a lower bracket and a knee panel are supported by the instrument panel reinforcement via the upper bracket. Thus, the vehicle occupant knee protection apparatus may be attached to the instrument panel reinforcement by, for example, preparing a subassembly by fixing the lower bracket and the knee panel to the upper bracket, and then fixing only the front end of the upper bracket to the instrument panel reinforcement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yusuke Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 8833796
    Abstract: A knee air bag mounting system is provided that includes an air bag mount for a heavy truck-type vehicle. Such an air bag mount includes a front wall having an air bag aperture therein adapted for passage of an air bag module of the knee air bag system. The air bag mount also includes a first side wall extending away from the front wall, a second side wall extending away from the front wall in opposed-spaced relation to the first side wall, a top wall extending away from the front wall, and a bottom wall extending away from the front wall. A bracket structure is disposed within an interior space of the air bag mount and configured to provide a connection point for the air bag module. Each of the first and second side walls and top and bottom walls are free from direct connection to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Spartan Motors, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. LaVere, Bruce A. Crume, Steven R. Siler
  • Patent number: 8827307
    Abstract: This invention is in the field of safety devices to lessen injuries arising from impact in vehicles, particularly automobiles. A bolster which may be employed to reduce impact severity to passengers from either frontal or side impacts is activated by impact sensing devices. The housing of the bolster has a lateral length L. Upon activation, the bolster is inflated with an activating fluid and extends the lateral length L of bolster upon activation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Salflex Polymers Ltd.
    Inventors: Raj S. Roychoudhury, Michael James Best, Timothy W. Chapman, Rimas Ciplijauskas, Changize Sadr, Ali Totonchian
  • Patent number: 8794668
    Abstract: A storage device (6) having at least one front portion (14) and one rear portion (12) defining together a storage space (8). The front portion (14) and the rear portion (12) are attached to each other by a separable attachment device (16). The attachment device (16) is laid out so as to allow separation of said front portion (14) from the rear portion (12) under the effect of an external force greater than a predetermined threshold, so that the front portion (14) or the rear portion (12) is detached from the other portion and penetrates into the storage space (8) under the effect of said external force.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Faurecia Interieur Industrie
    Inventor: Gwenael Monnier
  • Patent number: 8794669
    Abstract: A dash assembly for the occupant area of a vehicle including a stationary section, a moveable section, first interface and a second interface is provided. The moveable section includes at least one contact zone configured to be engaged by a driver's knee in the event of an accident to absorb forces from the driver's knee. The first interface is between the stationary section and the moveable section and secures the moveable section to the stationary section at a first location. The second interface is between the stationary section and the moveable section and secures the moveable section to the stationary section at a second location spaced away from the first location. The second interface is configured to release prior to the first interface upon sufficient forces being applied to the at least one contact zone during an accident.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Spartan Motors, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. LaVere, Bruce A. Crume, Steven R. Siler
  • Patent number: 8720948
    Abstract: An active bolster for mounting at an interior trim surface of an automotive vehicle has a plastic-molded, expandable inner wall having a welding flange disposed at an outer perimeter and a pleated region bending inward from the welding flange. A plastic-molded outer wall overlies the inner wall, wherein the welding flange is hot welded to the outer wall to form an inflatable bladder for receiving an inflation gas. The inner wall further includes a blocking rib extending from between the welding flange and the pleated region into abutment with the outer wall to restrict flow of the inflation gas against the welding flange.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2014
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Stacey H. Raines, Nicholas A. Mazzocchi, Latasha N. Smith
  • Patent number: 8684126
    Abstract: In a rearward pedal movement restraint assembly for a vehicle, an intermediate portion of a clutch pedal, which moves rearward by the impact of a frontal collision of the vehicle when the frontal collision occurs, contacts a forward portion of a knee panel so that the clutch pedal pivots toward the front of the vehicle so that the amount of rearward movement of the clutch pedal is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yusuke Fujiwara
  • Publication number: 20130341897
    Abstract: Provided is an active bolster for a vehicle occupant, the active bolster comprising a rear panel, an internal structure, and a front panel. The internal structure is disposed between the rear panel and the front panel, and the internal structure and rear panel together forming a hollow chamber in communication with an inflation device. The hollow chamber is expandable on activation of the inflation device. The internal structure has at least one expandable element such that upon pressurization of the hollow chamber by the inflation device, at least a portion of the at least one expandable element undergoes deformation to permit inflation of the hollow chamber, thereby displacing the rear panel rearwardly to an extended position.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2013
    Publication date: December 26, 2013
    Applicant: Salflex Polymers Ltd.
    Inventor: Raj S. Roychoudhury
  • Patent number: 8608200
    Abstract: When an air bag body beings to expand due to gas flowing from an inflator into the air bag body, a left side folded piece and a right side folded piece which have been folded into concertinas expand quickly to thrust laterally to the left and right. Vent holes are located to be exposed in upper faces of the folded pieces. Accordingly, the gas can flow out from the interiors of the folded pieces through the vent holes as soon as the folded pieces begin to expand.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Takata Corporation
    Inventor: Yasuhito Miyata
  • Patent number: 8602183
    Abstract: An energy absorber includes opposing aligned crush lobes expandable in opposite directions, and when expanded, potentially collapse with different energy-absorbing rates and stroke distances. The energy absorber forms a subassembly design that is adaptable and easily modified for predetermined energy absorption crush curves and specific energy-absorbing circumstances, such that it can be used inside a vehicle passenger compartment or outside a vehicle in different locations, such as for a knee bolster on the instrument panel, or on a door inner panel, or on an under-knee seat component, or on a headliner or A-pillar cover, or hood-lifter for pedestrian safety. One version of the energy absorber includes formed sheets bonded along a perimeter to define two cavities and an inflator-holding pocket connected to the cavities by integrally-formed tunnels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 10, 2013
    Assignees: Shape Corp., Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas C. VandenBerge, Scott D. Wilde, Joel M. Cormier, Geoffrey A. Mills, David Zecchin
  • Patent number: 8596681
    Abstract: An internal deployable vehicle panel assembly includes an inner panel, an outer panel and a deployable energy absorber. The inner panel includes a first mounting structure that movably couples the inner panel to a vehicle component to move between a closed position to cover an access opening to a vehicle storage compartment and an open position to reveal the access opening. The outer panel includes a second mounting structure that is removably coupled to a third mounting structure of the inner panel. The deployable energy absorber is disposed between the inner and outer panels in an undeployed state. The deployable energy absorber is free from fixed attachment to the outer panel and energizable to a deployed state in which the deployable energy absorber separates the outer panel from the inner panel and displaces the outer panel away from the inner panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2013
    Assignee: Nissan North America, Inc.
    Inventors: David Strunk, Darin Evans
  • Patent number: 8590931
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are embodiments of a steering column cover skirt attachment bracket and steering column assemblies for a vehicle. One embodiment of a steering column assembly comprises a steering column having a steering column cover, an instrument panel and a lower driver panel forming a recess for receiving the steering column and steering column cover and having an interior surface and an attachment tower extending from the interior surface. The attachment tower is configured to couple the lower driver panel to the instrument panel. A steering column cover skirt extends between the steering column cover and the lower driver panel and has a first end attached to the steering column cover and a second end attached to the lower driver panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignee: Nissan North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Andrew Brant, Thomas Mally
  • Patent number: 8579325
    Abstract: Provided is an active bolster for a vehicle occupant, the active bolster comprising a rear panel, an internal structure, and a front panel. The internal structure is disposed between the rear panel and the front panel, and the internal structure and rear panel together forming a hollow chamber in communication with an inflation device. The hollow chamber is expandable on activation of the inflation device. The internal structure has at least one expandable element such that upon pressurization of the hollow chamber by the inflation device, at least a portion of the at least one expandable element undergoes deformation to permit inflation of the hollow chamber, thereby displacing the rear panel rearwardly to an extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Salflex Polymers Ltd.
    Inventor: Raj S. Roychoudhury
  • Patent number: 8573643
    Abstract: An active bolster has an expandable inner wall including a bay having first and second opposing ends and a central bowl. An expandable outer wall overlies the inner wall to provide a main cavity therebetween. An inflator is mounted within the bay having an outlet nozzle with a plurality of outlet passages for radially discharging an inflation gas against the bay and the outer wall in response to inflate the main cavity during a crash. The inner wall of the central bowl includes a plurality of first dispersion ribs substantially parallel with one another and following arcuate paths to provide at least one gas channel with opposite ends emptying from the central bowl into the main cavity. The outer wall includes a plurality of second dispersion ribs oriented to channel inflation gas from the central bowl toward the outer peripheral edges.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 8, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Raymond E. Kalisz, Roger J. Chen
  • Patent number: 8557375
    Abstract: A thermoplastic film for airbag covers contains a cover layer and a foam layer. The cover layer is made of at least two layers, having an outer layer and an inner layer, and an elongation at tear of the inner layer of the cover layer and of the foamed layer is considerably less than the elongation at tear of the outer layer of the cover layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2013
    Assignee: Benecke-Kaliko AG
    Inventors: Jürgen Bühring, Katja Fischer, Völker Hülsewede, Jürgen Marquardt, Hartmut Harnisch
  • Patent number: 8544879
    Abstract: An active bolster for an automotive vehicle has an inner wall and an outer wall joined around a substantially closed perimeter to form an inflatable bladder. An inflator couples an inflation gas into the inflatable bladder in response to a crash event of the vehicle. The inner wall has an inner vessel region with a substantially-planar portion and an outer pleated region with a plurality of circumferential pleats, wherein each pleat has an inward edge and an outward edge. Adjacent pleats are continuous so that the inward edge of an outer pleat is shared as the outward edge of an inner pleat. The pleat edges have a stepped spacing from the outer wall that progressively decreases from an innermost edge to an outermost outward edge, whereby adjacent pleats unfold during inflation such that an inner pleat is unfolding with a substantially uniform pressure when an outer pleat begins to unfold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Nicholas A. Mazzocchi, Stacey H. Raines, Latasha N. Smith
  • Patent number: 8544878
    Abstract: An active bolster for automotive crash protection has front and back walls with their outer peripheral edges sealed together to provide a bladder chamber therebetween. A gas source supplies an expansion gas to inflate the bladder chamber during a crash. The back wall has a pleated section comprising a plurality of generally-parallel rows of generally-circumferential pleats that unfold during inflation. The unfolding of the pleats controls a deployment trajectory of the front wall, and the pleats have an undulating transverse curve length corresponding to a maximum trajectory of the front wall. The pleated section further comprises a plurality of transverse ribs joining adjacent pleats in selected locations to reduced the unfolding during inflation to provide a modified deployment trajectory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Raymond E. Kalisz, Jeffery N. Conley, Nicholas A. Mazzocchi
  • Publication number: 20130249201
    Abstract: A vehicle occupant knee protection apparatus is provided in which the front end of an upper bracket is fixed to an instrument panel reinforcement, and a lower bracket and a knee panel are supported by the instrument panel reinforcement via the upper bracket. Thus, the vehicle occupant knee protection apparatus may be attached to the instrument panel reinforcement by, for example, preparing a subassembly by fixing the lower bracket and the knee panel to the upper bracket, and then fixing only the front end of the upper bracket to the instrument panel reinforcement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2011
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Applicant: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Yusuke Fujiwara
  • Patent number: 8505971
    Abstract: A present invention provides a knee bolster for a vehicle including a first bracket with a first support portion, a first load receiving portion, and a first deformation portion, and a second bracket with a second support portion, a second load receiving portion, and a second deformation portion, wherein the second bracket is arranged such that the distance between the second load receiving portion and the knee is shorter than the distance between the first load receiving portion and the knee in the load application direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 13, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tetsuhiro Arima
  • Patent number: 8491008
    Abstract: An inflatable active bolster for a vehicle occupant, the bolster having a first body section and a second body section interconnected by a living hinge. The first and second body sections are folded about the living hinge to form a hollow chamber. The first body section provides an outer surface for facing the vehicle occupant, while the second body section provides a support surface for coupling the inflatable active bolster to a vehicle. At least one of the first and second body sections provides at least one expansible element such that upon pressurization of the hollow chamber, at least a portion of the at least one expansible element undergoes deformation to permit inflation of the hollow chamber, thereby displacing the outer surface of the first body section outwardly to an extended position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: Salflex Polymers Ltd.
    Inventors: Raj S. Roychoudhury, Stephen Hawkins, Nicholas Herdegen, Dave Flajnik
  • Patent number: 8465051
    Abstract: A driver knee bolster may include a first bracket arranged on a cowl crossbar, wherein an upper portion may be fixed to the cowl crossbar, a second bracket disposed in front of the first bracket, wherein a lower portion of the second bracket may be coupled to a lower portion of the first bracket, and an upper portion of the second bracket may be spaced apart from the upper portion of the first bracket to form a space therebetween, and a buffering member arranged in the space formed between the first and second brackets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Assignee: Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Hyun Peal Ha, Hong Min Choi, Jong Yoon Lee, Jung Yoon Jang, Yong Kwan Jeon, Jeong Han Kim
  • Patent number: 8465087
    Abstract: An energy absorber includes a base sheet and a plurality of crush lobes extending from the base sheet. Each crush lobe includes a side wall oriented to crush and collapse to absorb energy when impacted in a first direction and includes an end wall. At least one of the base sheet and the end wall of at least one crush lobe includes an integrally-formed protruding countermeasure of lower standing strength than the crush lobes so that the protruding countermeasure acts to dampen movement causing buzzes, squeaks and/or rattles between the end wall and an adjacent structure. The countermeasure can be integrally formed or an insert, such as a magnet or other insert. Methods related to the above are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 18, 2013
    Assignee: Oakwood Energy Management, Inc.
    Inventors: Matthew M. Gerwolls, Michael A. Rossi, Dane Winbigler, Donald S. Smith, Joel M. Cormier, Richard F. Audi
  • Patent number: 8459689
    Abstract: An energy management system for mounting in a vehicle, the energy management system comprising an inflatable bolster for mounting in a glove box door of a glove box of the vehicle, the inflatable bolster including an expansible hollow interior, an inflator module for inflating the expansible hollow interior, a front wall for projecting inwardly into the vehicle and away from the glove box on inflation of the expansible hollow interior, and a back wall located between the expansible hollow interior and the glove box, and a support structure for mounting to the inflatable bolster, the support structure being operable to resist the back wall being forced into the glove box due to inflation of the inflatable bolster.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Salflex Polymers Ltd.
    Inventor: Raj S. Roychoudhury
  • Patent number: 8454053
    Abstract: An energy absorbing panel assembly for the interior of a motor vehicle is disclosed. The energy absorbing panel assembly, typically the knee bolster panel adjacent the steering wheel, includes an energy absorbing structure integrally molded to the panel. The energy absorbing structure includes three outer side walls and a top wall. The outer side walls extend from the same side of the top wall to the panel. Extending from the top wall to the panel is at least one top wall supporting rib. The rib is positioned between the outer side walls. At least one of the outer walls is at an obtuse angle relative to the plane of the top wall. All three of the outer walls may be at an obtuse angle relative to the plane of the top wall. Lateral supports may be provided between the outer side walls and the panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Haoliang Michael Sun, Erik Garland