ALFDORF, Germany, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW), the global leader in active and passive safety, today announced the first production contract for its Active Buckle Lifter (ABL) seat belt technology. The contract is with a major European vehicle manufacturer and will start production in 2013. The system will be launched on the rear seats, but is also available for front seat applications.
TRW's ABL offers three main functions. It simplifies locating and fastening the belt by lifting the buckle into a convenient position once the passenger is seated; helps to reduce seat belt slack in dynamic driving situations; and by helping to reduce slack in critical driving situations, the ABL can contribute to reducing the possibility of out-of-position occupants.
Uwe Class, senior engineering manager, active restraint systems, said: "The ABL can help drivers and passengers to fasten their seat belts easier by raising the buckle by up to 70mm – bringing it to a more convenient location if the buckle is difficult to access, for example due to a larger or higher center console on the front seats or deep buckle positions on the rear seats. It can also help those with mobility difficulties – minimising the twisting or leaning action required to locate the buckle. Once fastened, the buckle then returns to its normal position.
"As well as improving driver comfort, the ABL offers support in dynamic driving situations such as hard braking or quickly driven curves. Using data from the onboard active safety sensors, it can retract the buckle which can reduce belt slack around the pelvis and chest. This may help to keep the occupant in the intended, and more controlled seating position."
The safety function of the ABL is activated during critical situations such as panic braking or loss of stability. The seat belt can be quickly tightened, by up to 80mm - helping to maintain proper occupant position for airbag deployment if a crash is deemed to be imminent.
Class continued: "Technologies such as our ABL are becoming more interesting for vehicle manufacturers; firstly, with an aging population globally, we believe that comfort functions are becoming increasingly important for this demographic. And secondly, with European Commission targets to halve the number of road fatalities by 2020, the industry is placing greater focus on active safety functions such as automatic emergency braking – which can easily be integrated with our ABL. TRW is also using GPS data as an input to its ABL to provide dynamic support in advance of a vehicle reaching a bend, for example."
With 2011 sales of $16.2 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's leading automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, operates in 26 countries and employs over 60,000 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 www.trw.com.
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 Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011 (our "Form 10-K"), such as: any developments related to antitrust investigations adversely affecting our financial condition, results, cash flows or reputation; general economic conditions causing a material contraction in automotive sales and production adversely affecting our results or the viability of our supply base; the unsuccessful implementation of our current expansion efforts adversely impacting our business and results; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability or supply base; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; any shortage of supplies causing a production disruption; pricing pressures from our customers adversely affecting our profitability; increasing costs negatively impacting our profitability; the loss of any of our largest customers materially adversely affecting us; risks associated with non-U.S. operations, including economic and political uncertainty in some regions, adversely affecting our business, results or financial condition; any inability to protect our intellectual property rights adversely affecting our business or our competitive position; costs of product liability, warranty and recall claims and efforts by customers to adversely alter contract terms and conditions concerning warranty and recall participation; costs or liabilities relating to environmental, health and safety regulations adversely affecting our results; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or at the facilities of our customers or suppliers adversely affecting our operations; any disruption in our information technology systems adversely impacting our business and operations; 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.
SOURCE TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.