Patent Number: 6,305,711

Title: Vehicle safety apparatus including movable inflatable occupant protection device

Abstract: A vehicle safety apparatus (10) includes a vehicle steering column (40) connected to a vehicle steering wheel (42) to turn rotatable steerable vehicle wheels. A module (32) has an inflatable device (34) for helping to protect an occupant (36) of a vehicle (11) and an inflator (30) is connected with the inflatable device to provide inflation fluid for inflating the inflatable device. The apparatus (10) also includes at least one actuatable fastener (20) connected between the steering column (40) and a vehicle part (52). The actuatable fastener (20) has an unactuated condition blocking movement of the steering column (40) in a forward direction (58) in the vehicle (11) relative to the vehicle part (52). The actuatable fastener (20) has an actuated condition releasing the steering column (40) for movement in the vehicle (11) relative to the vehicle part (52) under load applied to the inflatable device (34) by the vehicle occupant (36). The forward movement of the steering column (40) effects forward movement of the inflatable device (34). The actuatable fastener (20) is preferably a pyrotechnic fastener.

Inventors: Steffens, Jr.; Charles E. (Washington, MI), Bauer; John G. (Troy, MI), Seybold; John M. (Utica, MI)

Assignee: TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc.

International Classification: B60R 21/20 (20060101); B62D 1/19 (20060101); B60R 21/01 (20060101); B60R 021/32 (); B62D 001/18 ()

Expiration Date: 10/23/2018