TRW Automotive Supports Vehicle Makers Preparing for New US NCAP Requirements

Jun 04, 2010, 10:01 ET from TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

LIVONIA, Mich., June 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW), the global leader in active and passive safety, has today outlined how it is supporting vehicle manufacturers to prepare for more stringent US New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) safety criteria next year.  TRW's occupant restraint simulation techniques have resulted in advances to its technology portfolio and a significant cost reduction compared with traditional testing processes.

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Jeff Aird, director, customer account engineering for TRW Occupant Safety Systems, explained: "With TRW's simulation capabilities we can evaluate vehicles against the new NCAP requirements; ascertain what changes need to be made to a vehicle to help ensure it complies; and make those changes before we progress to the more traditional dynamic test methods - thereby eliminating one or more phases of development. Our simulation technology can yield an optimal solution faster than traditional testing and result in considerable development time and cost savings.  TRW can support our customers as they prepare for the new NCAP tests quickly and cost effectively."  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced changes to the NCAP star rating that will be effective for 2011 model year vehicles. The changes include replacement of test dummy for passenger side and additional injury criteria that covers the four body regions: head, neck, chest and femurs for the frontal crash test modes; the addition of a new side pole test, new test dummies and new method of injury criteria evaluation for the side impact test program, roll-over rating, an overall summary rating; and a new program to promote advanced technology solutions and crash avoidance technologies.

Aird continued: "Safety technology in vehicle manufacturing has come a long way since the US NCAP ratings were first introduced.  The new tests will take into account the 5th percentile passenger occupant in addition to the 50th percentile driver: NCAP has really raised the safety bar."  

According to Aird, the act of using simulation techniques to assess the impact of a crash on a 5th percentile occupant will lead to a number of applications of TRW's own technology portfolio. One example of this is TRW's dual volume or dual depth airbag, which operates via a Tether Activation Unit (TAU) and is able to deploy according to the size and belted condition of the occupant being protected. Dual seat belt pretensioning along with additional technologies would improve the vehicle US NCAP star ratings significantly.

And, because vehicles must maintain their compliance with US FMVSS 208 unbelted regulation, the Company has also been working on the development of an active/adaptive venting system which allows for the bag pressure to be varied for the belted and unbelted conditions.

Aird concluded: "Our simulation technology is capable of identifying solutions quickly to ensure both new and existing models can be modified to help meet not only the requirements of the new US NCAP ratings but, more importantly, the safety needs of the real driving public."

About TRW

With 2009 sales of $11.6 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

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 can 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, 2009 (our "Form 10-K") and our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended April 2, 2010, such as: the financial condition of our customers adversely affecting us or the viability of our supply base; disruptions in the financial markets adversely impacting the availability and cost of credit negatively affecting our business; any shortage of supplies adversely affecting us; any further material contraction in automotive sales and production adversely affecting our results, liquidity or the viability of our supply base; escalating pricing pressures from our customers; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability or supply base; our dependence on our largest customers; 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; limitations on available cash and access to additional capital due to our substantial debt; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; any increase in the expense of our pension and other postretirement benefits or the funding requirements of our pension plans; risks associated with non-U.S. operations, including foreign exchange risks and economic and political uncertainty in some regions; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or at the facilities of our customers or suppliers; assertions by or against us relating to intellectual property rights; the possibility that our largest stockholder's interests will conflict with our or our other stockholders' interests; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in our Form 10-K and in our other filings with the 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.