Inertia Actuated Patents (Class 297/478)
  • Patent number: 11059453
    Abstract: A system and method for detecting seatbelt routing in a motor vehicle safety restraint system for a motor vehicle seat. The system includes a seatbelt buckle sensor, a seatbelt payout sensor, an occupancy sensor, an automatic locking retractor sensor and a control module. The method includes sensing a presence of a seatbelt latchplate in a seatbelt buckle. Further, the method includes sensing a seatbelt payout length. Additionally, the method includes comparing the seatbelt payout length to a first seatbelt payout length threshold. Moreover, the method includes determining seatbelt routing based on whether seatbelt latchplate is present in the seatbelt buckle and the seatbelt payout length is greater than the first seatbelt payout length threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Scott D. Thomas, Jeffrey J. Schultz
  • Patent number: 10518682
    Abstract: A passenger seat for a vehicle includes a head restraint positioned at an upper portion of the passenger seat and a lateral head support selectively configurable between a deployed configuration in which the lateral head support provides lateral support for at least one side of a passenger head and a stowed configuration in which the lateral support collapses into the passenger seat such that the lateral head support no longer provides lateral support for a passenger head.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: GM GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY OPERATIONS LLC
    Inventors: Stephanie C. Radion, Daniel W. Booth, Stephen Rylance, Daniel Arico
  • Patent number: 9908503
    Abstract: In a belt retractor (10) having a belt tensioner (16) and a force-limiting device, the belt tensioner (16) includes a pivoted pinion gear (24) associated with a belt reel (14), a drive unit (18) and an oblong force-transmitting element (22) movable by the drive unit (18) supported at least partly in a tubular portion (21) and adapted to be engaged in the pinion gear (24) so as to rotate the pinion gear (24) in a tensioning direction (A). The force-transmitting element (22) includes a bending portion (30) which is provided at the rear end of the force-transmitting element (22) viewed in the tensioning direction and which is designed to be pressure-resistant in the longitudinal direction (L) of the force-transmitting element (22) but to be flexible in a direction perpendicular to the longitudinal direction (L).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: TRW Automotive GmbH
    Inventors: Brend Gentner, Thomas Moedinger, Andreas Pregitzer, Scott M. Franz
  • Patent number: 9884608
    Abstract: A seat belt assembly includes a first lap belt portion having an anchored end and a first plate, and a second lap belt portion having an anchored end and a second plate. A first shoulder belt having a retractor end and a buckle end extends through a first slot in the first plate between the retractor end and the buckle end. A second shoulder belt having a retractor end and a tongue end extends through a first slot in the second plate between the retractor end and the tongue end. The buckle end is fixedly attached to a buckle and the tongue end is fixedly attached to a tongue. The buckle and the tongue are releasably attachable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
    Inventor: Raj S. Roychoudhury
  • Patent number: 9827883
    Abstract: A child seat includes a seat shell, a retractor assembly including a movable member connected with the seat shell, an anchor strap portion and an adjustment strap respectively connected with the movable member, and a lock assembled with the seat shell. The anchor strap portion extends outward from the seat shell, and is provided with a fastener operable to attach with an anchor structure of a vehicle. The adjustment strap has a first end portion connected with the movable member and a second end portion extending outside the seat shell, and extends through the lock at a location between the first and second end portions. The movable member is movable in a first direction to pull the anchor strap portion for reducing a length thereof outside the seat shell, and in an opposite second direction to pull the adjustment strap for reducing a length thereof outside the seat shell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Wonderland Nurserygoods Company Limited
    Inventors: Curtis M. Hartenstine, Michael H. Gillett, Sharon A. Gillett
  • Patent number: 9090228
    Abstract: In a reclining sensor of a webbing take-up device, when a case turns together with a seat back that tilts towards the seat rear, rotation of a pulley is restricted by a pressing tab of an operation plate. Accordingly, when relative rotation of the pulley occurs with respect to the case, a wire is pulled out from another end of a tube, turning a sensor housing of an acceleration sensor. The wire pulled out from the other end of the tube is wound up onto a winding portion that is an outer peripheral portion of the pulley that rotates. Since the pulley that pulls the wire merely rotates about its center of rotation, the inside of the case is sufficient as long as rotation range of the pulley is secured, enabling a reduction in size of the case.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOKAI RIKA DENKI SEISAKUSHO
    Inventors: Takashi Ono, Yasunori Hata, Akira Sumiyashiki
  • Patent number: 9067758
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor of a webbing take-up device is provided with a sensor housing in which a spherical body is placed. A rotating shaft is formed at a longitudinal wall of a support wall of the sensor housing, and rotatably supported at a shaft receiving hole formed in a hanger support wall. A position of formation of the rotating shaft is set to be upward relative to a center of gravity of the sensor housing whose state where a sensor lever is installed at the support wall and the spherical body is placed on a curved-surface of a placing portion. Consequently, even without a heavy body being attached at the lower side of the spherical body or the lower side of the sensor housing, the sensor housing rotates responsively when the take-up device main body is tilted. Therefore, the acceleration sensor can be reduced in size.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2015
    Assignee: KABUSHIKI KAISHA TOKAI-RIKA-DENKI-SEISAKUSHO
    Inventors: Takashi Ono, Yasunori Hata, Akira Sumiyashiki
  • Patent number: 9038935
    Abstract: A retractor includes a spool configured to selectively wind and unwind the webbing, a lock base configured to operate in a free position and a locked position, a first energy absorbing member coupled to the spool and the lock base, and a second energy absorbing member coupled to the spool and the lock base. When the lock base is in the free position, the spool and lock base freely rotate together when a force is applied on the spool through the webbing. When the lock base is in the locked position and a force is applied on the spool through the webbing, rotation of the spool is permitted while rotation of the lock base is prevented, such that the first energy absorbing member absorbs a first energy and the second energy absorbing member is configured to absorb a second energy after a predetermined rotation of the spool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2015
    Assignee: TK Holdings Inc.
    Inventor: Gary Lee Stroik, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8991735
    Abstract: A length direction base end side of a wire passes through a retaining spring mounting hole formed in a case, and is anchored to an anchor tag that is indirectly retained by a pulley. A spring is provided in the retaining spring mounting hole, and a base end of a tube is retained to the spring through a metal cylinder body. A spring-side step portion of the spring is pressed contact to a mounting portion-side step portion of the retaining spring mounting hole so the spring is retained. When the tube is pulled towards an opening side of the retaining spring mounting hole, the spring moves and the spring-side step portion makes press contact with, and is once again retained, by a different step of the mounting portion-side step portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai-Rika-Denki-Seisakusho
    Inventors: Takashi Ono, Yasunori Hata, Akira Sumiyashiki
  • Publication number: 20140306508
    Abstract: A deviation in rotational angle caused between an adjustment gear and a sensor housing is compensated for with a profile of a cable winding groove of a pulley of an attitude control mechanism to accurately synchronize the inclination angle of a seat back and the rotational angle of the sensor housing with each other. Thus, it is possible to keep an inertial element support surface, which serves as a sensor reference surface, accurately horizontal even at any seat back inclination angle to improve the accuracy of an acceleration sensor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 14, 2012
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Applicant: AutoLiv Development AB
    Inventors: Katsuhiro Ito, Yusuke Shinya, Ganta Hibata, Jin Hayashihara
  • Patent number: 8794399
    Abstract: A dynamic energy management restraint anchor device interfaces with a child seat in a vehicle, engaging common child seat attachment clip features. A device restraint anchor is operable to dynamically extract and permit distortion of load bearing deformable member(s) in order to manage the displacement of, and load transferred through, an anchor connected to a child seat. The device may be further operable to limit or prevent restraint anchor displacement and the distortion of said deformable member(s) under quasi-static load conditions in order to meet motor vehicle static load/displacement anchorage performance requirements applicable to certain anchors. Anchor retraction capability and various interlocking configurations for securing the position of an anchor, before or after having extracted, may be incorporated relative to the energy management device interfacing with both a vehicle and a child seat. An indicator may further be provided to identify the functional state of the restraint device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Richard Edward Ruthinowski, Ian Brewster Hall, Parakrama Valentine Weerappuli, Brian Robert Spahn
  • Patent number: 8794672
    Abstract: A method of downscaling the travel-time-function of a reference body of mass mt in a spring-mass system with a spring providing a spring force when the spring-mass system is exposed to an acceleration field with an acceleration which moves the reference body against the spring force according to the travel-time-function is provided. In this method, the downscaling is done by coupling the reference body of mass mt to additional masses mr which are kinematically linked together in such a way that they do not react to acceleration field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Volkswagen AG
    Inventor: Thomas Dramlitsch
  • Patent number: 8746803
    Abstract: [Object] To provide a retractor that is manufacturable at a much lower cost by making a pretensioner operate more effectively, by minimizing the length of a pipe so that a weight reduction is realized effectively, and by easing the restriction for the shape of a guide member. [Solution] A pipe 17 in which a plurality of balls as force transmitting members are provided includes an attaching portion 17c as a projection provided at one end portion 17a thereof. A guide member 18 having a guide surface 18c that guides the balls has attaching grooves 18 as recesses. The attaching portion 17c is fitted into the attaching grooves 18, whereby the pipe 17 is attached around the outer circumference thereof to the guide member 18 attached to a frame. Since the guide member 18 is provided on the outer circumference of the pipe 17, the pipe 17 can be shortened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: Takata Corporation
    Inventors: Masahiro Shiotani, Yusuke Iura
  • Patent number: 8727257
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor for a safety belt of a motor vehicle having a belt shaft (1) rotatably mounted in a frame, a profile head (2) lockable in relation to the frame, a load limiting device (20) located between the profile head (2) and the belt shaft (1) for enabling the belt shaft (1) to undergo a load limited rotation in the belt webbing extraction direction (A) with the profile head (2) being locked and a load limiting level predetermined by the load limiting device (20) being exceeded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2014
    Assignee: Autoliv Development AB
    Inventors: Bengt Dahlquist, Erik Arthur Rydsmo, Fredrik Wigström
  • Patent number: 8684413
    Abstract: A pretensioning device (10) for a safety belt, of a motor vehicle, having a gas generator (17), a piston (21) guided in a tube (16), which closes a pressure area (20) in the tube (16) that is pressurized by the gas generator (17) whereupon the piston (21) is able to move in a pretensioning movement which is able to be conveyed to the safety belt by means of an inertia body (19a) resting on a front face (9) of the piston (21). The piston (21) forms a pass-through opening (1) releasable upon exceeding of a predetermined pressure and a recess (26) is provided in the front face (9) with an inertia body (19a) resting thereon, so that a flow connection is created from the pass-through opening (1) to the area (25) located behind the piston (21) in the direction of the pretensioning movement (S).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2014
    Assignee: Autoliv Development AB
    Inventors: Thomas Schmidt, Martin Schmidt, Christian Fischer, Michael Pech, Matthias Steinberg, Tobias Voss
  • Patent number: 8662538
    Abstract: A belt retractor for a vehicle safety belt, comprising a belt reel 2 onto which the safety belt is wound when the belt strap is reeled in and from which the safety belt can be unwound when the belt strap is pulled out, a belt strap-sensitive blocking mechanism 12 which blocks extension of the belt strap when the belt strap is extended with excessive acceleration, wherein a retarding device 1 which prevents activation of the belt strap-sensitive blocking mechanism along a specified length of belt strap extension at the beginning of the belt strap extension process is rotatably connected to the belt reel 2.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 21, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: Key Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin Specht, Wolff Rainer
  • Patent number: 8628114
    Abstract: A releasable tether retention system includes a housing having a slot extending therealong and a projection extending into the slot. The projection is coupled to the housing so as to be movable along the housing between a first position along the slot and a second position along the slot. Rotation of the projection is prevented when the projection is in the first position, and rotation of the projection is enabled when the projection is in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: TK Holdings, Inc.
    Inventor: Eduardo L. Quioc
  • Patent number: 7997620
    Abstract: An adaptive load-limiting seat belt buckle presenter includes a plow assembly movable within a tube and connected to the buckle by cables. Movement of the plow assembly presents the buckle at various positions relative to the occupant. The plow assembly has a plurality of plow elements that engage with the tube to plow troughs in the tube when an occupant restraining load moves the plow assembly within the tube. A plow actuator mechanism selects a number of the plurality of plow elements to be engaged or not engaged with the tube to thereby adapt the load-limiting capability of the presenter. A controller and various sensors cooperate to operate an adjusting motor for translating the plow assembly within the tube to present the buckle at a desired position and to also operate a rotary actuator to select the number of plow elements that will be engaged or not engaged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2011
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: Ke Dong, Jenne-Tai Wang, Tito R. Huffman
  • Publication number: 20110175425
    Abstract: The present disclosure describes a dual mode emergency locking retractor (ELR) employing a mechanical strap acceleration sensing and locking mechanism in conjunction with an omni-directional housing acceleration sensing and strap locking system. The ELR utilizes a locking means responsive to the strap payout acceleration rate once a threshold rate of acceleration has been exceeded. The locking means terminates shaft rotation with a locking force which is proportional to the strap payout acceleration rate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2008
    Publication date: July 21, 2011
    Applicant: PACIFIC SCIENTIFIC COMPANY
    Inventors: John Churilla, Bruce Campbell Glascock, Ronald John Nathan, Luong Manh Trinh
  • Patent number: 7954590
    Abstract: In a method for operating a preventive-action protection system in a vehicle having safety devices for diminishing the consequences of accidents, driving state data is acquired by a driving state sensor system and is monitored with respect to the longitudinal deceleration of the vehicle and a braking torque request by the driver. A state of emergency braking is determined by a braking request evaluation means, and at least one of the safety devices is triggered only if a longitudinal deceleration below a longitudinal deceleration threshold is simultaneously present.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: Daimler AG
    Inventors: Werner Bernzen, Dominic Reutter
  • Patent number: 7946519
    Abstract: Seat belt retractors for spooling seat belts (webbings) include multiple independent torque transmission or absorbing systems. The seatbelt retractor comprises a webbing, a spool, a pinion, a pretensioner, at least one coupler pawl, and a locking mechanism including a lock base and a lock pawl. The at least one coupler pawl is positioned in a cavity in the spool. During a predetermined low acceleration event, the at least one coupler pawl pivots so that a portion of the at least one coupler pawl leaves the cavity and engages the lock base to load the lock base which is then prevented from rotating in a spool extracting direction by the locking pawl. When the pretensioner activates during a predetermined higher acceleration event, the pretensioner rotates the pinion in the webbing retraction direction to rotate the spool in the webbing retraction direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Assignee: TK Holdings Inc.
    Inventor: Mark F. Gray
  • Patent number: 7793982
    Abstract: A device for tightening a seat belt has a piston (2) drivable linearly in a piston guide (1) by the gas pressure of a propellant gas. A gearing (3) is also caused to move by the piston (2), the gearing serving the transmission of the piston movement to a pinion (4). The pinion (4) is connected to, or configured to be connected to, a belt spool of a seat belt retractor (13) in a manner whereby rotation of the pinion causes rotation of the belt spool. The gearing (3) on associated with the piston (2) is mounted displaceable transversely to the piston's direction of movement and meshes with the pinion (4) as a result of gas pressure in an expandable bladder (24).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Key Safety Systems, Inc
    Inventor: Walter Krauss
  • Patent number: 7758074
    Abstract: A webbing retractor is provided that reduces the amount of webbing that is pulled-out after operation of a pretensioner mechanism. In a webbing retractor 10, a lock pawl 78 is set in a non-meshable state in which it cannot mesh with a lock gear 26. At a time when a pretensioner mechanism 34 operates and a clutch plate 42 rotates in a take-up direction, a lock stopper 86 rotates together with the clutch plate 42 and releases engagement with the lock pawl 78. Therefore, the lock pawl 78 is rotated by a compression coil spring 70 and changed to a meshable state. In this way, immediately after rotational force in a pull-out direction is applied to the lock gear 26 due to load from a vehicle occupant after operation of the pretensioner mechanism 34, the lock pawl 78 meshes with the lock gear 26, and pulling-out of a webbing 20 is impeded. Therefore, an amount of the webbing 20 which is pulled-out can be reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2010
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai-Rika-Denki-Seisakusho
    Inventors: Hitoshi Takamatsu, Tomonori Nagata, Kazuhiko Aihara, Masaki Yasuda, Toshio Nakashima
  • Publication number: 20100013292
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor including an emergency locking retractor mechanism for locking the rotation in the belt withdrawing direction of a spool, onto which a seat belt is wound, according to actuation of at least one of the deceleration sensing system and a webbing sensor; an automatic locking retractor for locking the rotation in the belt withdrawing direction of the spool when the seat belt is withdrawn by a predetermined length; and a lock switching mechanism for switching and setting between a mode exhibiting the emergency locking retractor mechanism and a mode exhibiting the automatic locking retractor mechanism. The lock switching mechanism includes an automatic locking retractor mechanism actuating lock member, and an automatic locking retractor mechanism actuating lock gear which locks the rotation in the belt withdrawing direction of the spool when the automatic locking retractor mechanism actuating lock member is engaged.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 2, 2009
    Publication date: January 21, 2010
    Inventor: Kenji Osada
  • Patent number: 7637536
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor (40) associated with a seat (10) includes a spool (106) about which seat belt webbing (42) is wound. The spool (106) is supported for rotation in a belt withdrawal direction and in an opposite belt retraction direction. A vehicle sensitive sensor (190) is responsive to at least one sensed vehicle condition for preventing rotation of the spool (106) in the belt withdrawal direction. A first mechanism (206) is responsive to a first condition for disabling the vehicle sensitive sensor (190). A second mechanism (294) is responsive to a second, different condition for preventing rotation of the spool (106) in the belt withdrawal direction. The second condition is a condition of the associated seat (10). In one embodiment, a third mechanism (400) is responsive to the first condition for allowing rotation of the spool (106) in the belt withdrawal direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2009
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Neal H. Delventhal, Scott M. Franz
  • Patent number: 7628349
    Abstract: An inertia sensitive actuator especially adapted for use with a dual spool retractor for a motor vehicle seat belt system, The dual spool retractor includes shoulder belt and lap belt spool assemblies engaging with the shoulder belt and lap belt portions of the seat belt webbing, The dual spool retractor incorporates an inertia sensitive actuator having an excitation mass which is coupled with both of the retractor spool assemblies via linkages,
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: Gunter K. Clute, Jennifer Grove
  • Publication number: 20080203808
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor includes a seat belt, a spool for winding the seat belt, an operation member, and a planetary gear mechanism for transmitting a rotation of the spool to the operation member and actuating the operation member. The planetary gear mechanism includes a carrier to which rotation of the spool is transmitted, a planetary gear rotatably supported by the carrier and an internal gear for meshing with the planetary gear and actuating the operation member. The carrier, planetary gear and internal gear are structured as a sub-assembly which is assembled to the seat belt retractor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 22, 2008
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Applicant: TAKATA CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hirokazu Yoshioka, Yasunori Fukuoka
  • Publication number: 20080203807
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor includes a seat belt; a spool, a locking mechanism, a belt withdrawal sensor, a lock actuating device for actuating the locking mechanism, and a lock gear disposed in the lock actuating device. A movement preventive member is provided at the lock gear for preventing movement of the belt withdrawal sensor, and a movement preventive member control device is also provided at the lock gear for controlling movement of the movement preventive member. The movement preventive member control device includes a movement control member rotating according to a rotation of the spool to control the movement of the movement preventive member, and an intermittent relative rotation device for making the movement control member to intermittently rotate relative to the lock gear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2008
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Applicant: TAKATA CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hirokazu Yoshioka, Yasunori Fukuoka
  • Publication number: 20080203806
    Abstract: The seat belt system includes a locking device for locking the retractor having a sensor-weight type acceleration sensor for activating the locking device, a posture controller for controlling a posture of a sensor weight of the sensor-weight type acceleration sensor, an angle detection device for detecting a rotation angle of a backrest, and an interlocking member for allowing the angle detection device to interlock with the posture controller. The angle detection device allows the interlocking member to rotate in accordance with the reclining angle of the backrest. The posture controller F is controlled by means of the rotation of the interlocking member 11 so as to keep the sensor-weight type acceleration sensor horizontal when the reclining angle is within a range where a passenger wears the seat belt and not to interlock with the angle detection device K when the reclining angle is outside of the range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 22, 2004
    Publication date: August 28, 2008
    Inventors: Ganta Hibata, Mitsuhide Kobari
  • Patent number: 7416150
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor (10) has an actuator (14) for unlocking and locking the seat belt retractor (10) An inertial sensor (18) detects changes in vehicle acceleration and interacts with the actuator (14) to lock and unlock the seat belt retractor (10). The inertial sensor (18) has one inertial sensor mass, each mass (26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33) has a wide portion (70) and a narrow portion (72). Preferably each inertial sensor mass (26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33) has a high density body (31) embedded in the wide portion (70) of the elastomeric material (34). The inertial sensor mass (26, 27, 29, 36, 32, 33) has a greater density than the elastomeric material (34) Moreover, the elastomeric material (34) at least partially surrounds an exterior circumferential surface (38) of the inertial sensor mass (26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Assignee: Key Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher D. Morgan, Huiyao Liu, Stephan F. Vetter, Kristopher Shaffer, David R. Arnold
  • Patent number: 7370822
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor including a compact brake system configured so that when a drive member of the brake system is inoperative, an operation control member is held in an inoperative position. In this state, rotation stop portions of the operation control member are held in positions opposed to the flat surfaces of an energy-absorbing-member support member, and the energy-absorbing-member support member is braked by the operation control member, whereby the rotation is stopped. When the drive member is activated, the operation control member is moved downward, so that the rotation allowable portion of the operation control member is located on the cylinder of the energy-absorbing-member support member. Then the brake applied to the energy-absorbing-member support member can be released to allow the rotation of the energy-absorbing-member support member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Assignee: Takata Corporation
    Inventor: Koji Hiramatsu
  • Patent number: 7360795
    Abstract: An anchorage device for a motor vehicle is provided, including a pretensioning wheel, a pulley connected to the pretensioning wheel via a torsion bar first portion, a seat belt connecting member connected to the pulley, and a locking device coupled with the pulley via a torsion bar second portion. The torsion bar first portion provides resistance to rotation of the pulley during outward locking travel of the seat belt connecting member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2008
    Assignee: Autoliv ASP, Inc.
    Inventors: Thomas Zelmer, Jon E. Burrow
  • Patent number: 7350734
    Abstract: An in-line seat belt pretensioner is provided that includes a frame containing a first guide member and a second guide member for tensioning of seat belt webbing upon pretensioner activation. As the pretensioner is activated, the seat belt is tensioned by activation of an actuator operably coupled to the second guide. The second guide is then routed over a vertically stationary first guide that is slidably engaged within a slot within the frame, thereby contributing to reducing the load on the occupant. A low-friction material employed in the manufacture of the guide member(s), contributes to a smoother and less abrupt tensioning of the seat belt upon activation of the pretensioner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Assignee: Automotive Systems Laboratory, Inc.
    Inventor: Bruce A. Stevens
  • Patent number: 7338003
    Abstract: A webbing take-up device is disclosed which includes a take-up shaft onto which a webbing is mound, and a mounting member nondetachably mounted to the take-up shaft by screw tightening. The take-up shaft and the mounting member are engaged with each other at a portion other than a portion where the screw tightening is carried out, thereby preventing relative rotation of the take-up shaft and the mounting member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2008
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai-Rika-Denki-Seisakusho
    Inventors: Hitoshi Takamatsu, Tomonori Nagata, Kazuhiko Aihara, Masaki Yasuda
  • Patent number: 7300013
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor (10) has an actuator (14) for unlocking and locking the seat belt retractor (10). An inertial sensor (18) detects changes in vehicle acceleration and interacts with the actuator (14) to lock and unlock the seat belt retractor (10). The inertial sensor (18) has one inertial sensor mass, each mass (26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33) has a wide portion (70) and a narrow portion (72). Preferably each inertial sensor mass (26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33) has a high density body (31) embedded in the wide portion (70) of the elastomeric material (34). The inertial sensor mass (26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33) has a greater density than the elastomeric material (34). Moreover, the elastomeric material (34) at least partially surrounds an exterior circumferential surface (38) of the inertial sensor mass (26, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2007
    Assignee: Key Safety Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher D. Morgan, Huiyao Liu, Stephan F. Vetter, Kristopher Shaffer, David R. Arnold
  • Patent number: 7090304
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor (10) includes a spool (104) about which seat belt webbing (18) is wound. The spool (104) is supported for rotation in a belt withdrawal direction and in an opposite belt retraction direction. A vehicle sensitive sensor (180) is responsive to at least one sensed vehicle condition for preventing rotation of the spool (104) in the belt withdrawal direction. The retractor (10) also includes a mechanism (200) for controlling the vehicle sensitive sensor (180). The mechanism (200) includes a ring gear (212) and a control lever (246). The ring gear (212) has internal gear teeth (234) and an external surface (236) having a cam profile. The external surface (236) of the ring gear (212) actuates the control lever (246) to enable and disable the vehicle sensitive sensor (180).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2006
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Neal H. Delventhal, Edgar H. Schlaps
  • Patent number: 7080799
    Abstract: A linear drive has a cylinder, a piston guided displaceably in said cylinder, and a pinion. The piston is provided with teeth which can engage into the pinion in order to rotate the pinion upon displacement of the piston. The drive further has at least one deformable element which prevents blocking when the teeth enter into engagement with the pinion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: TRW Automotive GmbH
    Inventors: Markus Singer, Wolf-Dieter Hoenl, Thomas Moedinger, Patrick Foussier
  • Patent number: 6994288
    Abstract: A belt retractor comprising a tensioning device having a cylinder and a piston displaceably guided in said cylinder, said piston being provided with a tooth rack section into which a pinion can engage to drive said belt retractor, wherein said tooth rack section comprises at least one segment which is detachably attached to said piston.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2006
    Assignee: TRW Automotive GmbH
    Inventor: Franz Wier
  • Patent number: 6923506
    Abstract: An interlock system for stopping seat belt payout from a retractor when a seat is not secured is provided. The interlock system includes a connector between the seat latch and the retractor with the connector operating a retractor locking actuator which utilizes the vehicle inertia sensor to cause retractor locking. In one form, the actuator is shifted into engagement with the inertia member for retractor locking when the seat is released. In another form, the actuator is mounted to a module secured on one side of the one of the retractor frame plates to which the actuating mechanism for the vehicle sensor is secured on the other side thereof. The connector causes shifting of the actuator member from the one side to the other to operate the vehicle sensor actuating mechanism for retractor locking when the seat is released.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2005
    Assignee: Takata Seat Belts, Inc.
    Inventors: Masahiro Tanabe, Luis Cendejas
  • Patent number: 6915979
    Abstract: An acceleration sensor assembly for a restraint retractor of a seat restraint system in a vehicle includes an acceleration sprocket operatively connected to the restraint retractor. The acceleration sensor assembly also includes an acceleration pawl cooperating with the acceleration sprocket to operatively cause lock up of the restraint retractor. The acceleration sensor assembly includes an inertia member cooperating with the acceleration pawl to move the acceleration pawl when an acceleration force is present and a gimbal to support the inertia member. The acceleration sensor assembly further includes a non-contact damping mechanism cooperating with the gimbal to dampen movement of the gimbal until the acceleration force exceeds a predetermined value and the inertia member actuates the acceleration pawl to engage the acceleration sprocket to operatively cause lock up of the restraint retractor and prevent unwinding of a belt from the restraint retractor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2005
    Assignee: Delphi Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: James L. Webber, Kevin Wei-Loong Ng
  • Patent number: 6910653
    Abstract: A seat belt retractor having a force limiter mechanism that can be stably operated when a pyrotechnic pretensioner is activated. As a pyrotechnic pretensioner is activated, a ring gear rotates in the counter-clockwise direction. Accordingly, an external tooth holding an end portion of a stopper is moved, whereby the end portion of the stopper becomes free. Therefore, the stopper expands because of its biasing force. Then, a release spring is released from the restriction of the stopper and thus pivots in the clockwise direction because of its biasing force. The release spring collides with a pin of the clutch pawl to press down the pin. Therefore, the clutch pawl is rotated about a clutch pawl pin in the clockwise direction, thereby canceling the mechanical connection between the motor and the spool.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2005
    Assignee: Takata Corporation
    Inventor: Hiromasa Tanji
  • Patent number: 6860566
    Abstract: A spring loaded pay out arrangement for a seat harness securable to a seat, the seat harness being releasably connectable to an occupant harness configured to be worn by an occupant of the seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Assignee: Martin-Baker Aircraft Company, Limited
    Inventor: Steven Anthony George Ruff
  • Patent number: 6824222
    Abstract: A seat belt system (10) includes a lap belt (60) including a first portion (74) and a second portion (85). A retractor (76) includes a spool (96) rotatable about an axis (160). The first and second lap belt portions (74, 85) are secured to the spool (96). The spool (96) is biased to rotate in a first rotational direction to wind the first and second portions (74, 85) onto the spool. The first and second portions (74, 85) when tensioned urge the spool (96) to rotate in a second rotational direction opposite said first rotational direction to unwind the first and second portions from the spool. A locking mechanism (170) is actuatable to lock the spool (96) against rotation in the second rotational direction. First and second web grabbing devices (180, 182) are actuatable to clamp onto the first and second portions (74, 85) when the locking mechanism (170) is in the locked condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 30, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Barry J. Maloney, Joseph J. Zwolinski, Arnold J. Herberg, Alex P. Kotivosky
  • Patent number: 6773075
    Abstract: A four-point seat belt system for restraining a vehicle occupant in a vehicle seat. Two shoulder belts mounted on separate spool members are connected to a common retractor mechanism, which synchronizes web payout and retraction and also shares a load limiting function. The shoulder belts are connected to a lap belt, which is buckled centrally on the abdomen of the occupant. A load limiting system controls occupant motion and reduces force levels on the occupant's chest. A single load limiting method can be used to accommodate all occupants of the vehicle with specific force versus belt payout properties.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Stephen William Rouhana, Paul George Bedewi
  • Publication number: 20040095011
    Abstract: An interlock system for stopping seat belt payout from a retractor when a seat is not secured is provided. The interlock system includes a connector between the seat latch and the retractor with the connector operating a retractor locking actuator which utilizes the vehicle inertia sensor to cause retractor locking. In one form, the actuator is shifted into engagement with the inertia member for retractor locking when the seat is released. In another form, the actuator is mounted to a module secured on one side of the one of the retractor frame plates to which the actuating mechanism for the vehicle sensor is secured on the other side thereof. The connector causes shifting of the actuator member from the one side to the other to operate the vehicle sensor actuating mechanism for retractor locking when the seat is released.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 15, 2002
    Publication date: May 20, 2004
    Applicant: Takata Seat Beat, Inc.
    Inventors: Masahiro Tanabe, Luis Cendejas
  • Patent number: 6698677
    Abstract: A pretensioner for tightening an occupant restraint, such as a seatbelt, against an occupant on a vehicle. The pretensioner has a locking reel which is activated when a signal is sent by a crash sensing device. When such signal is sent, the pretensioner causes a rack to turn a pinion, which is attached to a reel which tightens the occupant restraint. The pinion is allowed to turn freely by holding the rack out of its sphere of movement until the piston, which controls the position of the rack, is caused to extend. The pinion turns a shaft which is connected to a locking reel through a connector which is movable between a connected configuration and a disconnected configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2004
    Assignee: H. Koch & Sons Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Michael J. Happ, Daniel H. Meggs, Eric Kawabata
  • Patent number: 6698678
    Abstract: In a webbing retractor, a wire is inserted through a through-hole of a spool on which a webbing is taken-up and from which the webbing is pulled-out. At an initial stage of a process of absorbing inertial energy of a vehicle occupant, a large force limiter load is generated by adding a rubbing force of the wire at a peripheral portion of the through-hole, to a twisting load of a torsion bar. An energy absorption amount is made large, and an amount of pulling-out of the webbing is kept low. After a predetermined amount of energy has been absorbed, when the wire is completely pulled-out from the through-hole, the rubbing force of the wire is cancelled, the force limiter load is reduced, and force applied to the vehicle occupant via the webbing is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2004
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai-Rika-Denki-Seisakusho
    Inventors: Seiji Hori, Tomonori Nagata
  • Patent number: 6688547
    Abstract: The inertia sensor is a sensor for a seatbelt retractor used for sensing deceleration. The inertia sensor is composed of a primary mass, a secondary mass, and a lifter. The primary mass provides the inertia for the self compensating function. The secondary mass provides the inertia for sensing deceleration. The inertia sensor is not triggered when subjected to tilting angles of 30 degrees or less in any direction. Upon experiencing decelerating motion, the secondary mass tilts relative to the primary mass whereby this relative angular displacement causes the lifter to raise. The lifter rotates a locking pawl into an engagement position, which initiates the locking mechanism of the seatbelt retractor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2004
    Assignee: Breed Automotive Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Simon Xunnan He
  • Patent number: 6655743
    Abstract: The seat belt module is electronically controlled using magneto-rheological fluid. A CPU delivers a signal to an electromagnetic coil within the module at the beginning of a crash to cause the viscosity of the magneto-rheological fluid to increase sufficient to lock the spool on which the seat belt is wound against rotation. Thereafter, a subsequent signal is delivered by the CPU to the coil to reduce the magnetic field and the viscosity of the magneto-rheological fluid allowing the spool to be unwound in a programmed manner so as to reduce the forces imposed on an occupant by the seat belt. The CPU may be pre-programmed in response to signals from sensors throughout the vehicle that deliver signals corresponding to the characteristics of the occupant and may be programmed in response to signals from these sensors and from an air bag to respond in real time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: Island Pyrochemical Industries Corp.
    Inventors: Amnon Parizat, Marek Tarczynski
  • Patent number: 6655744
    Abstract: A seat belt system for a vehicle seat having seat belt segments that are retained on first and second retractors. The retractors each have a spool on which seat belt segments are wound. The spools of the first and second retractors are linked together by a spring that biases the spools to retract the belt segments. Right and left seat belt presenters are provided to move the latches of seat belt segments between a retracted position and a presentation position where the latches are held at a convenient location to be grasped by a person seated in the vehicle seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2003
    Assignee: Lear Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick A. Petri, Ernesto E. Blanco, Greg Fraley, Nicole Poponea, H. Winston Maue