LIVONIA, MI --- TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc. said it has introduced a new active head restraint (AHR) system using a mechanical concept that is lighter, less complicated, and uses fewer components than competing systems on the market.

The TRW active head restraint offers greater choice for vehicle manufacturers since it is independent of seat geometry and can be integrated into any headrest height adjuster with minimal impact to the seat, the company said. The design is adaptable to different seating supplier designs and works independently of occupant size and seating position. In addition the TRW design is reversible and easily resettable by consumers at no cost, as opposed to designs that require a dealership visit for service or replacement.

"Our new active head restraint system has several advantages over typical systems now in vehicles," said Charlie Steffens, director of safety systems technology for TRW occupant safety systems. "The AHR system is designed to help slow the velocity of the head as it moves backward in a crash scenario. This can help to reduce the chances of whiplash forces acting on the occupant."

Combining the TRW AHR with crash sensing systems, one can achieve excellent delta-V and threshold discrimination in a variety of rear impact events, Steffens said. TRW testing has shown excellent results in FMVSS, IIHS, and EuroNCAP test configurations. And the AHR allows for a larger initial backset distance between the occupant's head and the backrest for occupant comfort.

"The TRW AHR contains fewer parts and in conjunction with our electronic control module comprises a system with less mass (up to 9 pounds less) than competitive seat integrated passive head restraint systems," Steffens said.