April 17, 2012

TRW's Electric Park Brake Technology Gains Momentum in the North American Market

LIVONIA, Mich., April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW), the global leader in active and passive safety, has been awarded new business for its next-generation Electric Park Brake (EPB) technology with two major North American based vehicle manufacturers.  The EPB system functions as a conventional hydraulic brake for standard service brake applications, and as an electric brake for parking and emergency braking. 

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120417/DE88863 )

TRW launched the first integrated caliper EPB system in 2001 and is bringing the wide range of functional and ancillary benefits of EPB to the North American market with the launch of EPB expected in the 2013 model year. The new systems will feature TRW's next-generation technology including its Gen 5 Electronic Control Unit (ECU).

"TRW EPB technology goes well beyond the simple functionality of holding a vehicle in a stopped position — because it is based on electronics it can be integrated with other vehicle systems," said Seth Ravndal, chief engineer for EPB systems in North America. "For example, the EPB can work with a vehicle's Electronic Stability Control system in emergency stop situations to enable full four-wheel anti-lock functionality enhancing safety in an emergency braking situation.

"Our fifth generation EPB ECU utilizes a dual microcontroller safety architecture with an application-specific integrated circuit. The memory size is scalable up to 1MB with the option of incorporating (external) customer software modules. For greater packaging and performance flexibility there is an option to integrate longitudinal, lateral and yaw rate sensors within the ECU. Our latest ECU is compliant with the ISO 26262 safety standard and puts TRW in an excellent position to meet future requirements. TRW also offers an integrated EPBi system where control of the unit is integrated into the Slip Control system, and we can also work with slip control systems from other companies to offer this integration function to vehicle manufacturers."

The EPB system, utilizing electrical cables and a control switch instead of a typical foot pedal or hand lever, simplifies routing and allows for greater freedom of design for vehicle interiors.  Its smaller package becomes even more attractive as vehicle manufacturers continue to requisition vehicle space for new features and options and it can significantly reduce weight when compared to conventional park brake systems. For example, in a larger SUV/pickup popular in the North American market, an EPB system can save as much as 16 pounds versus a Drum-in-Hat rear park brake system. Furthermore, for the OEM, the assembly of the EPB system into the vehicle is much simpler and the robustness of the system can result in fewer warranty complaints.

Other benefits include an auto-apply option — if the driver were to exit the vehicle and mistakenly leave the vehicle in gear — the EPB system can be activated automatically when the driver opens the door or releases their seatbelt. This is particularly beneficial for preventing unintentional roll-away either in a driveway or at a boat launch ramp. There is also a drive away assist function which holds the vehicle in a stopped position without the need to constantly depress the brake pedal — an excellent traffic jam feature.  TRW expects the penetration rate for vehicles sold in North America with EPB to approach 10 percent by 2015.

About TRW

With 2011 sales of $16.2 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 www.trw.com.

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 could 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, 2011 (our "Form 10-K"), such as: any developments related to antitrust investigations adversely affecting our financial condition, results, cash flows or reputation; general economic conditions causing a material contraction in automotive sales and production adversely affecting our results or the viability of our supply base; the unsuccessful implementation of our current expansion efforts adversely impacting our business and results; commodity inflationary pressures adversely affecting our profitability or supply base; strengthening of the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacting our results; any shortage of supplies causing a production disruption; pricing pressures from our customers adversely affecting our profitability; increasing costs negatively impacting our profitability; the loss of any of our largest customers materially adversely affecting us; risks associated with non-U.S. operations, including economic and political uncertainty in some regions, adversely affecting our business, results or financial condition; any inability to protect our intellectual property rights adversely affecting our business or our competitive position; 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 adversely affecting our results; work stoppages or other labor issues at our facilities or at the facilities of our customers or suppliers adversely affecting our operations; any disruption in our information technology systems adversely impacting our business and operations; and other risks and uncertainties set forth in our Form 10-K and in our other filings with the U.S. 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.

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