US 3385620 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 28, 1968 D. PORVIN 3,385,620
DOOR LATCH SAFETY RELEASE Filed Nov. 5, 1966 INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,385,620 DDOR LA'HJH SAFETY RELEASE Dennis Porvin, 17601 Kentucky Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48221 Filed Nov. 3, 1966, Ser. No. 591,894 6 (Ilaims. (Q1. 292-59) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE actuating mechanism accessible from the interior of the vehicle and selectively operable with the door closed to move the latching member from engagement with the keeper member to thereby permit the door to be opened.
This invention relates to vehicle door latch mechanisms and in particular to a latch mechanism having secondary means for disengaging the latch from an operable condition to permit the door of the vehicle to be opened even though the operating elements of the latch are inoperable.
Recent Congressional interest in improved safety devices for automotive vehicles has manifested itself in the form of legislation enacted for the purpose of improving the safety characteristics of such vehicles. One area that has received special attention has been in the area of the door latch mechanism. Studies have indicated that in the event of a collision, it is desirable for the doors of the vehicle to remain in a closed position so that the occupants of the vehicle are retained therein. The reason for this is that when the vehicle doors fly open, the occupants are subjected to a risk of severe injuries as they are ejected through the door opening.
Door latch mechanisms have been designed to maintain the doors closed under high impact conditions, however such latch mechanisms often become jammed in a collision so that the doors cannot be opened.
A conventional latch mechanism comprises a toothed rotor member which is supported by the door for selective rotation and engages a striker plate mounted on the body pillar defining the door opening. The latch mechanism permits the rotor to rotate for engagement or disengagement with the striker plate and is actuated by a push button on the exterior door panel or a remote control linkage on the interior door panel. Means are provided in the latch mechanism for locking the rotor in the engaged position so that it cannot rotate when it is in the engaged position with the keeper member. When the latch mechanism, as the result of a collision becomes damaged such that it cannot be operated to free the rotor for rotation, the door is locked in place preventing the occupants from exiting from the vehicle.
It is the broad purpose of the present invention to provide secondary actuating means for separating the rotor from the striker plate and operable even though the rotor is not free for rotation. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, which will be subsequently described in detail, the rotor is supported for movement toward and away from the door frame. Normally the rotor projects in an operative position beyond the door. It is supported in a track which provides means for slidably withdrawing the rotor within the door between the inner and outer panels. Spring bias means normally urge the rotor into its projected position so that it can engage the keeper member or striker plate mounted on the body pillar. A handle member supported on the 3,385,620 Patented May 28, 1968 interior panel of the door is connected through appropriate linkage so that a force applied by the occupant of the vehicle is effective to withdraw the rotor into the door and away from the striker plate so that the door can be opened.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an emergency release for a vehicle latch mechanism operable independently of the normal release means.
It is another object of the present invention to provide secondary means for disengaging a vehicle latch mechanism of the type comprising a rotor supported for rotation on the vehicle door and adapted to engage a striker plate carried on the body member defining the door opening and which permits separation of the rotor from the striker plate when the rotor is in a non-rotatable condition so that it will not permit the normal disengagement of the latch members.
Still further objects and advantages of the present invention will readily occur to one skilled in the art to which the invention pertains upon reference to the following detailed description. The description makes reference to the accompanying drawings in which like reference characters refer to like parts throughout the several views and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary perspective View of the interior of a vehicle and illustrating the handle for operating a secondary latch mechanism forming a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the interior of the door illustrated in FIGURE 1 and showing the various operative parts of the latch mechanism; and
FIGURE 3 is an elevational sectional view of a preferred track for supporting the rotor illustrated in FIG- URE 2 for movement toward and away from an operative position and with parts broken away for purposes of clarity.
Description Now referring to the drawings, FIGURE 1 illustrates the drivers compartment generally indicated at 10 of a vehicle 12. Access into or out of the vehicle is gained by opening or closing a door assembly 14. The door assembly is pivotally supported to the vehicle 12 and moves between positions admitting or denying entrance through an opening defined by a door frame 16.
Now referring to FIGURES 1 and 2, the door assembly 14 carries a latch assembly generally indicated at 18 for engaging a striker plate 20 mounted to the door frame 16. The latch assembly 18 is adapted to be operated by a conventional push button mechanism (not shown) carried on the exterior of the door assembly 14 or from a handle 22 supported on the interior of the door assembly 14 and which is operative through a linkage 24 to operate the latch assembly 18.
An emergency release handle 26 preferably taking the form of a spherical member mounted within an open recess 28 in door assembly 14 is carried at the free end of a crank member 20 which is pivotally carried by the door assembly between an outer panel 32 and an inner panel 34. The handle 26 is carried in a slotted connection which permits the handle 26 to be moved between a normal rearward position A to a forward position indicated in phantom at B. A link 36 having one end pivotally pinned to the crank 30 provides means for transmitting the movement of the handle 26 from A to B to the latch assembly 18.
Now referring to FIGURES 2 and 3, the latch assembly 18 includes a toothed rotor member 38 which is adapted to engage the striker plate 20 when the door assembly 14 pivots to the closed position.
A cylindrical housing partially encloses the rotor 38 and has a lower cut-out portion exposing the lower half of the rotor to permit engagement of the teeth with the striker plate 20.
A shaft 42 supports the rotor 38 for selective rotation, the rotor being attached to the outer end of the shaft by staking or other suitable means.
The shaft 42 extends through an aperture 44 provided in the door panel 46 and is journaled for rotation in a bushing 43 carried by a supporting member 50. The supporting member 50 is disposed in a housing 52 with a periphery generally corresponding to the dimensions of the housing 52 and a thickness less than one half the depth of the housing 52. The supporting member 50 is provided on its upper and lower surfaces with a pair of spaced apart projections 54, each of which extends through an elongated slot 56 provided in the housing 52. The projections are guided by the slots 56 to maintain alignment of the rotor 38, to provide stability of the rotor in its engaged position, and to provide for withdrawing the rotor 38 through the aperture 44 and into the interior of the door assembly 14.
Referring to FIGURE 3, the rotor 38 is normally in its projected position C, but supported so that it can be withdrawn from the door to a position D where it is spaced from the striker plate 20. The rotor 38 is normally maintained in the projected position C by a spring bias member 58 which is disposed between the supporting member 50 and a rear housing panel 60.
As can best be seen in FIGURES 2 and 3, the shaft 42 carries a ratchet 62 which is preferably peened to the shaft adjacent the housing.
A bracket 64 supports a handle contactor 66 by a pin 68 for pivotal movement in a plane perpendicular to the axis of the shaft 42. The handle contactor 66 is provided with a finger 67 which is movable into engagement with ratchet 62. The finger 67 has a sutficient length to permit the rotor 38 to be withdrawn within the door assembly 14 and separated from the striker plate 20. The handle contactor is movable into the out of its engaged condition with the ratchet 62 by an extension 70 which is operatively connected to an outside push button type door handle (not shown).
The handle contactor 66 is normally maintained by a spring member 74 in an engaged position so that it restricts rotation of the ratchet 62 and the rotor 38. By depressing the outside door handle, the handle contactor 66 pivots about the pin 68 so that it disengages the ratchet 62, thus permitting the rotation of the shaft 42.
A locking lever 76 is pinned for rotation to the panel 32 by a pin 78 and carries a pair of spaced apart fingers 80 and 82 which alternately engage the finger 70 of the contactor 66. By rotating the locking lever 76 in a first direction, the finger 80 produces a downward force on the finger 70 so that the handle contactor 66 disengages the ratchet 62. A force on the locking lever 76 in the opposite direction causes the finger 82 to produce an upward force on the finger 70, thus moving the finger 67 into engagement with the ratchet 62.
The locking lever 76 is provided with a contoured section 82 which substantially encircles a key-locking lever 84. The key-locking lever 84 is operatively connected to a conventional key cylinder (not shown) and is pivotal between a first position permitting the locking lever 76 to pivot in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG URE 2 so the handle contactor 66 can disengage the ratchet 62 and a second position to lock the lever 76 in its clockwise position. The locking lever 76 is further provided with a second contoured section 86 engaging a remote control lever 88 which is pinned for rotation to the panel 32. The outer end of lever 38 carries a locking stud 90 which is slidably disposed in a slot 92 provided in the link 94. The link 24 provides an operative connection between the inside door handle 22 and the handle contactor 66, and is a well-known type of linkage in vehicle latch mechanisms.
Now referring again to FIGURE 2, the outer end of the shaft 42 is provided with a spherical enlargement 94 which is seated in a retainer member 96 in a manner permitting relative rotation. The member 96 is threadedly attached to a universal joint 98 which is connected to the link 36. The link 36 is operatively connected to the crank arm 30 so that the operator of the vehicle can withdraw the rotor 38 within the door assembly and away from the striker plate 20. Normally the link 36 is immobile in its rearward position so that the enlargement 94 and the member 96 cooperate to permit the shaft 42 to rotate as the door is opened and closed.
By moving the emergency release handle 26 from its rearward position A to its forward position B, the rotor 38 can be withdrawn within the door by the occupant of the vehicle. This separation of the rotor 38 from the striker plate 20 can be accomplished while the door is closed and even though the rotor is jammed in a nonrotatable condition preventing normal disengagement of the rotor and striker plate by operation of the outside or inside door handles.
It is to be understood that although I have described but one preferred embodiment of my present invention, and with reference to a particular type of latch mechanism, that the broad concept of providing a secondary means for separating the operating members of the latch mechanism from their engaged position and while the door is in its closed position, can be applied to any conventional type of vehicle latch mechanism and the various modifications can be made in the preferred embodiment without departing from the spirit of the invention as expressed in the scope of the accompanying claims.
Having described my invention, I claim.
1. In a vehicle having a door opening and a door selectively pivotally movable between open and closed positions relative to the door opening, a latch mechanism for holding the door in a closed position including a first latching member rotatably supported at the peripheral edge of the door and a second latching member supported on the frame defining the door opening, the first latching memher being normally selectively operable by first actuating means between a first condition permitting rotation for engagement and disengagement with the second latching member upon movement of the door between the open and closed position, and a second condition wherein it is locked against rotation to prevent disengagement from the second latching member in the closed position of said door, means for separating the first and second latching members from one another when the door is in the closed position, comprising:
(a) means permitting axial displacement of said first latching member from engagement with said second latching member and away from the edge of said door including:
(i) means defining a guideway;
(ii) said first latching member being mounted on said guideway for movement between a first normal position wherein said first latching member engages said second latching member and a second position wherein said first latching member is separated from said second latching member;
(b) means normally biasing said first latching member toward said first normal position; and
(c) means providing a second actuating means accessible within the passenger compartment of the vehicle and operative to transmit a force applied to said second actuating means to said first latching member toward said second position in opposition to said biasing means so that said first latching member is disengaged from said second latching operating member.
2. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein said guideway means comprises a pair of spaced apart parallel tracks mounted to said door and extending perpendicular to the hinge axis of said door; a support member slidably carried on said tracks and movable thereon between a pair of spaced apart positions, said support member having a bore and a shaft extending through said bore, said first latching member supported for rotation upon one end of said shaft; and means associated with said shaft permitting selective rotation of said first latching member.
3. The invention as defined in claim 2, including a ratchet member carried by said shaft, and said first actuating means being operatively connected for selectively engaging or disengaging said ratchet member so that said shaft is locked or unlocked for rotation.
4. The invention as defined in claim 2, wherein said support member is disposed within a housing having a pair of spaced apart parallel walls, slots being defined in said walls, said support member having projections riding in said slots, and including spring bias means for urging said support member toward said second operating memher.
5. The invention as defined in claim 1, wherein the vehicle door is formed of a pair of spaced apart panel sections joined by a peripheral panel section and said first operating member is movable between a first position projecting beyond said peripheral panel section and a second position withdrawn between said spaced apart panel sections.
6. The invention as defined in claim 5, including means for limiting the displacement of said first latching member from said first normal position.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,635,028 7/1927 Burr et al.
1,821,879 9/1931 Calpin.
2,139,183 12/1938 Bruns.
2,195,282 3/1940 Pacy 292-68 X 2,475,478 7/ 1949 Clair.
2,709,102 5/1955 Phinney et al.
RICHARD E. MOORE, Primary Examiner.