New Generation Of Seat Belt Retractor Offers Weight And Packaging Advantages

Jun 18, 2014, 10:01 ET from TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

LIVONIA, Mich., June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW), today announced that it is launching its next generation seat belt retractor – the Floating Spool 1 (FS1) – which offers reduced weight and smaller dimensions when compared with previous systems.  The global FS1 technology is starting production with several vehicle manufacturers in Asia, Europe, North America and South America during the second quarter of 2014.

In a crash scenario, most seat belt retractors use a lock pawl to hold the webbing in place. Instead, the new FS1 design with fewer components uses the forward movement of the occupant to apply force to the webbing, which then moves the spool, locking the retractor.  It offers a simpler, standardized component design that can be easily adapted to local market requirements at a highly competitive cost, and can be produced using fully automated or semi-automated manufacturing processes.

Aziz Canatar, global engineering director, TRW Seat Belt Systems, said: "Our new FS1 technology weighs approximately 15 percent less than the previous generation, making it a more environmentally friendly product that can help automobile manufacturers meet emissions and fuel economy targets. In addition, the smaller retractor offers significant packaging advantages and greater installation options."

The new retractor technology is suitable for front and rear seat applications using buckles and/or anchor pretensioners. The FS1 is available as a standard retractor without load limiter, but also with a constant load limiter using a standard torsion bar.

Both standard and reverse payout versions are available with the FS1. The sensor locking mechanism, with fewer moving parts, gives it excellent NVH characteristics. Optional functions include a child seat restraint feature, sensor blockout for folding seats and a noise dampening system.

Canatar added: "The design of the new FS1 offers many advantages related to weight, size and packaging flexibility. Standardized components and assembly options make it a truly cost-competitive, global technology. TRW believes FS1 is the retractor of choice to meet global market needs both now and in the future."

About TRW

With 2013 sales of $17.4 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 24 countries and employs approximately 65,000 people worldwide.  TRW Automotive products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine components, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services.  All references to "TRW Automotive", "TRW" or the "Company" in this press release refer to TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise indicated.  TRW Automotive news is available on the internet at  

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains statements that are not statements of historical fact, but instead are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements, which speak only as of the date hereof.  All forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements, including those set forth in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013 (our "Form 10-K") and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended March 28, 2014, such as: economic conditions adversely affecting our business, results or the viability of our supply base; risks associated with non-U.S. operations, including economic and political uncertainty in some regions, adversely affecting our business, results or financial condition; the unsuccessful implementation of our current expansion efforts adversely impacting our business or results; any developments related to antitrust investigations adversely affecting our financial condition, results, cash flows or reputation; pricing pressures from our customers adversely affecting our profitability; global competition adversely affecting our sales, profitability or financial condition; any disruption in our information technology systems adversely impacting our business and operations; any shortage of supplies causing a production disruption for any customers or us; the loss of any of our largest customers or a significant amount of their business, or a significant decline in their production levels, adversely affecting us; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; our contingent liabilities and tax matters causing us to incur losses or costs; any inability to protect our intellectual property rights adversely affecting our business or our competitive position; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability or supply base; costs  or adverse effects on our business, reputation or results from governmental regulations; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or those of our customers or others in our supply chain adversely affecting our business, results or financial condition; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in our Form 10-K and in our other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  We do not undertake any obligation to release publicly any update or revision to any of the forward-looking statements.        

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SOURCE TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.