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Publication numberUS3799596 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 26, 1974
Filing dateFeb 16, 1973
Priority dateFeb 21, 1972
Publication numberUS 3799596 A, US 3799596A, US-A-3799596, US3799596 A, US3799596A
InventorsT Nozomu, K Nobuyuki
Original AssigneeAisin Seiki
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety apparatus for vehicle door latches
US 3799596 A
Abstract
A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch comprising a weight element swingably assembled within the door latch for converting external force given to the door latch into displacements of the weight element, and a blocking element installed within the door latch, the blocking element being engaged with the weight element for holding the locking condition of the door latch when the weight element is displaced.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Nozomu et al.

[ Mar. 26, 1974 SAFETY APPARATUS FOR VEHICLE DOOR LATCHES [75] Inventors: Torii Nozomu, Hekinan; Kuki Nobuyuki, Toyota, both of Japan [73] Assignee: Aisin Seiki Kabushiki Kaisha,

Kariya-shi, Japan 7 [22] Filed: Feb. 16, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 333,324

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Feb. 21, 1972 Japan 47-17867 [52] U.S. Cl 292/216, 292/DIG. 22, 180/111 [5 I Int. Cl. E05c 3/26 [58] FieldofSeareh 292/D1G. 22, D10. 26,

292/DlG.65,2]6,280; l80/82.l, 111-113, 103,82

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1973 Breitschwerdt et al 292/DIG. 22 9/1963 Beck 292/280 Primary Examiner--Richard E. Moore Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Herman, Bishoff & Platt ABSTRACT A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch comprising a weight element swingably assembled within the door latch for converting external force given to the door latch into displacements of the weight element, and a blocking element installed within the door latch, the blocking element being engaged with the weight element for holding the locking condition of the door latch when the weight element is displaced.

11 Claims, 6 Drawing lFigures PATENIEDmzs 1914 SHEET 2 OF 4 SAFETY APPARATUS FOR VEHICLE DOOR LATCHES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to vehicle door latches, and more particularly to a safety apparatus to secure the locking condition of the latches in an emergency, for instance, of an occurrence of vehicle collision so as to cause no accidental opening of the door.

A conventional door latch is provided with outer and internal door-opening devices such as a push-button, a

door handle or the like. The door opening devices are connected with a locking device installed within the door structure by way of a link or the like so as to release the door locking upon opening-operation of the opening devices.

The door opening devices are operated against resilient forces of springs of the locking device. To effect easy operation, the resilient forces of the springs and the lever ratio of the link are determined properly. Meanwhile, the door opening devices have a certain weight and will have inertia acting thereon to effect its operation by external force caused by impact energy produced in a vehicle collision, and so forth. This inertia, when large enough, opens the door unexpectedly only to cause dangers that the driver falls out of the vehicle cabin and the door strikes external objects or pedestrians.

With the invention to overcome such dangerous releasing of the door locking device, introduced is such a locking device as is provided with a balance weight which generates counter-inertia to off-set the undesired one. The counter-inertia has to be larger than the inertia acting on the door opening devices. Consequentially, the balance weight becomes larger in size to require a big space for the installation thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is, therefore, to provide a safety apparatus for the vehicle door latches of the mentioned type, wherein a weight element is swingably assembled within the latch and displacements of the weight element holds the locking condition of the latch against any external force acting on the door opening device in a door opening direction.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a safety apparatus as mentioned above, wherein the weight element is small in size and can well be assembled compactly within the latch.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a safety apparatus as mentioned above, wherein the apparatus is applicable onto any of door latch of the mentioned type.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Additional objects and advantages of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 shows a front view of a vehicle door latch in accordance with the present invention during the door closure;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the latch disclosed in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of the latch shown in FIG. 1 in door opening operation;

FIG. 4 is a front view of the latch shown in FIG. 1 in operation to hold door locking in an emergency;

FIG. 5 shows a front view of another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a side view of the latch disclosed in FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, an embodiment of a door latch device in accordance with the present invention comprises a pressed steel mounting plate 10 including a flange 10a perpendicular to the body portion. of the plate 10 and a plurality of screw fastening portion 10b. The flange 10a is bent rightward in the figure in an L-shape at its top end. The mounting plate 10 is firmly secured on the side edge of a vehicle door 20 at the fastening portions 10b. A latch member 12 is pivoted on the plate 10 by a pin 14 and provided thereon with a hole 12a. A spiral spring 15 is stretched between the pin 14 and the hole 12a and normally biases the latch member 12 clockwisely around the pin 14. The latch member 12 is provided with a U-shape recess 12b engageable with a striker pin 11 secured on the vehicle body and at the opposite side thereof with first and second engaging teeth 12c and 12d.

A locking lever 13 is pivotally mounted on the plate 10 by a pin 16. This lever 13 is positioned above the latch member 12 and a pawl 13a. of the lever 13 engages the second tooth 12d of the latch member 12. The lever 13 includes a first arm 13b upwardly extended therefrom and a second arm 13d traversing the plate 10. A flange is perpendicular to the first arm 13b as best shown in FIG. 2 and a spiral spring 17 is stretched between the flange 13c and the pin 16 so as to normally bias the lever 13 counterclockwisely around the pin 16. The second arm 13d of the lever 13 extends out leftward in the figure through a bearing drilled through the flange 10a of the plate 10 and have an axis 18 secured thereon approximately at the central portion. The top end of the axis 18 is in the form of a spheric convexity.

The latch device also comprises a weight member 19 which includes a connecting portion 19a, a weight portion 19b and an upper arm 19c. The connecting portion 19a is provided with a spheric concavity corresponding to the convexity of the axis 18. The weight member 19 engages with the axis 18 by way of the convexity of the axis 18 and the concavity of the connecting portion 19a so that the weight member 19 is capable to swing to every direction. A cup shape blocking member 23 is mounted on the bent portion of the flange 10a of the plate 10 and has a circular hole 2.3a at its center. The upper arm of the weight member 19 normally stays inside the blocking member 23, but will extend out upwardly through the hole 23a of the blocking member 23 when the locking lever 13 turns clockwisely.

An internal release lever 21 is formed in an L-shape as seen in FIG. 2 and pivoted on the upper portion of the flange 10a of the mounting plate 10 by way of a pin 22. This lever 21 is connected conventionally with an internal door release handle (not shown) at one end thereof and the other end thereof is engageable with the bottom side of the second arm 13d of the locking lever 13 as best shown in FIG. 2. Thus, when the internal door release handle is operated, the locking lever 13 is turned clockwisely against the resilient force of the spring 17 by way of the internal release lever 21.

An L-shape bracket 24 is firmly mounted on the door 20 by a bolt 25, provided on the bracket 24. An outer door release handle 27 has a leg of an L-shape approximately corresponding with the bracket 24. The leg is pivoted at the upper end portion of the bracket 24 by a pin 26. An outer release lever 28 is pivoted by a pin 29 adjacent the bending portion of the leg of the door release handle 27. The clockwise rotation of the release lever 28 is blocked by the pin 26 which the upper end of the release lever 28 engages. The lower end tip of the release lever 28 is engageable with the flange 130 of the locking lever 13. The outer release lever 28 may be integral with the outer door release handle 27, but for the assembling convenience, the release lever 28 is separately and rotatably provided in this embodiment.

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the normal positions of the component parts during the door closure. In this condition, the pawl 13a of the locking lever 13 fully engages the second or fully-engaging tooth 12d of the latch member 12. The striker pin 11 is held in its full engagement with the U-shape recess 12b of the latch member 12. In this state, the weight member 19 keeps its normal position as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 unless any external or extraordinary force is given thereon.

A counter-clockwise rotation of the outer door release handle 27 with the pin 26 as the rotation center causes a counter-clockwise rotation of the outer release lever 28 around the pin 26. Then, the lever 28 rotates the locking lever 13 clockwisely to disengage the pawl 13a thereof from the second tooth 12d of the latch member 12. Thus, the locking of the door 20 is released.

Operation of the internal door release handle (not' shown) rotates the internal release lever 21 clockwisely in FIG. 2. The release lever 21 pushes the second arm 13d of the locking lever 13 upwardly to cause a clockwise rotation of the locking lever 13. Thus, the engagement is released between the pawl 13a of the locking lever 13 and the second tooth 12d of the latch member 12. Consequentially, the locking of the door 20 is released.

As best shown in FIG. 3, in the either door-opening operations, provided that no external force should be given to the weight member 19, the weight member makes its upward displacement, having its upper arm 190 to jut up through the hole 230 of the blocking cup 23, in response to the clockwise rotation of the locking lever 13. Thus, the weight member 19 does not bother or regulate at all the clockwise rotation of the locking lever 13 in the normal door opening operation.

Reference is made to FIG. 4; when external or extraordinary force acts on the weight member 19, for instance, in an occurrence of collision of the vehicle, the weight member 19 is displaced against the mounting plate as shown in FIG. 4. The top end of the upper arm 19c engages the blocking cup 23 to firmly hold the axis 18, which is secured on the locking lever 13, in its position shown in FIG. 1. In other words, in the extraordinary situation, only the weight member 19 swings around the axis 18 and the locking lever 13 and the latch member 12 stay in their latching position shown in FIG. 1. Consequentially, no clockwise rotation of the locking lever 13 can be effected by operation of the outer or internal door handle or door opening force produced by inertia acting on the door handles.

Another embodiment is disclosed in reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, wherein same or similar component parts have same or similar reference numerals as those in the preceeding embodiment. And no repetition is made here on the construction and operation of this second embodiment, since the substantial construction and operation of the second embodiment is alike those of the first embodiment. The difference is that a weight member 119 has an upper portion ll9c of a diameter larger than that of a connecting portion 119a and a blocking cup 123 is secured on an L-shape bracket (FIG. 6) which is mounted on the approximate center ofa second arm 113d of the locking lever 113. Another difference is that an axis 118 is transversely secured on the flange 10a of the mounting plate 10. Thus, the upper portion 1196 of the weight member 119 stays above the blocking cup 123 through a center hole 123a provided on the blocking cup 123.

Referring now to FIG. 5, when the weight member 119 swings by inertia around the axis 118, for instance, in the vehicle collision, the upper portion 11% blocks the locking lever 113 by way of the blocking cup 123. The locking lever 113 is prevented from its clockwise rotation. It should now be clear that with the embodiment of the present invention, the vehicle door would not open by any external or extraordinary force produced by acceleration, deceleration or impact energy produced in an occurrence of vehicle collision. And the weight member 119 needs not to be big in size, since the displacement of the weight member 119 effects the safety feature of the invention.

In the mentioned embodiments, any key-lock device is not explained, but it should be obvious that the present invention is well applicable to a door locking apparatus having a key-lock device.

It should be, furthermore, clear that the weight member can be pivoted on the locking lever as in FIG. 1, on the flange of the mounting plate as in FIG. 5, on the outer or internal handles, or one of rotatable parts installed between the locking lever and either of the handles.

Although in the mentioned embodiments, the weight member is swingable to every direction due to the convex/concave journaling, the weight member may bivoted be pivoted a pin in the case that no forward/rearward acceleration nor deceleration need not to be taken in account.

Although certain specific embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it is obvious that many modifications thereof are possible. The invention, therefore, is not intended to be restricted to the exact showing of the drawings and description thereof, but is considered to include reasonable and obvious equivalents.

What is claimed is:

l. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch having a mounting plate secured on the side edge of a vehicle door, a spring loaded latch member pivoted on said mounting plate for holding a striker element secured on the vehicle body during the door closure, a spring loaded locking lever pivoted on said mounting plate for holding the locking position of said latch member and means for releasing the locking position of said locking lever, comprising a weight element swingably mounted on said locking lever for converting external force given to the door latch into displacements of said weight element, and

a blocking element secured on said mounting plate and being engageable with said weight element in its displaced position for holding the locking position of said locking lever.

2. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as claimed in claim 1, wherein said weight element is mounted perpendicularly on said locking lever and includes a weight portion, a connecting portion extended upward from said weight portion and an upper arm engageable with said blocking element.

3. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as claimed in claim 2, wherein said weight element is journalled swingably on an axis secured on said locking lever.

4. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as claimedin claim 3, wherein said axis is provided with a spheric convexity at its top end and said connecting portion of said weight element has thereon a spheric concavity corresponding with said convexity of said axis, said convexity and said concavity forming an universal joint between said weight element and said axis.

5. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as claimed in claim 1, wherein said blocking element is formed in a cup shape with a hole at the center thereof, the top end of said weight element being normally allowed to pass through said hole and being engaged with the side wall of said blocking element when said weight element is displaced.

6. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as claimed in claim 5, wherein said blocking element is secured on a flange of said mounting plate.

7. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch having a mounting plate secured on the side edge of a vehicle door, a spring loaded latch member pivoted on said mounting plate for holding a striker element secured on the vehicle body during the door closure, a spring loaded locking lever pivoted on said mounting plate for holding the locking position of said latch member and means for releasing the locking position of said locking lever, comprising a weight element swingably mounted on said mounting plate for converting external force given to the door latch into displacements of said weight element, and a blocking element secured on said locking lever and being engageable with said weight element in its displaced position for holding the locking position of said locking lever.

8. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as,

claimed in claim 7, wherein said weight element is mounted perpendicularly on a flange of said mounting plate and includes a weight portion, a connecting portion extended upward from said weight portion and a top portion having a larger diameter than that of said connecting portion and engageable with said blocking element.

9. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as claimed in claim 8, wherein said weight element is journalled on an axis secured on said flange of said mount ing plate.

10. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as claimed in claim 9, wherein said axis is provided with a spheric convexity at its top end and said connecting portion of said weight element has thereon a spheric concavity corresponding with said convexity of said axis, said convexity and said concavity forming an universal joint between said weight element and said axis.

11. A safety apparatus for a vehicle door latch as claimed in claim 8, wherein said blocking element is secured on said locking lever and is formed in a cup shape with a hole at the center thereof, the top portion of said weight element being normally allowed to pass through said hole and being engaged with the side wall of said blocking element when said weight element is displaced.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification292/216, 180/286, 292/DIG.220
International ClassificationE05B65/32, E05B65/12
Cooperative ClassificationE05B77/12, Y10S292/22
European ClassificationE05B77/12