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Seating system designed by Johnson Controls plays key role in AGR certification for the new Vauxhall Meriva
Johnson Controls underlines claim to leadership in seating systems

Burscheid (ots) -

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Johnson Controls, a leading global supplier in automotive interior systems and electronics, supports all major automakers worldwide in the differentiation of their products. The latest example of this can be seen in the seating system in the new Vauxhall Meriva which, thanks to its perfect ergonomics and numerous, simple adjustment options, has played a key role in certifying the compact monocab with the seal of approval from the German Aktion Gesunder Rücken Association (Campaign for Healthier Backs, known as AGR).

"As the leading supplier of interior components in the automotive sector, we are extremely proud to be able to support our customer Vauxhall in developing, assembling and supplying the innovative seating system for the new Vauxhall Meriva," explained Dr. Detlef Jürss, vice president of engineering seating, interiors & systems Europe at Johnson Controls Automotive Experience. "The fact that the new Vauxhall Meriva has received the landmark AGR certification for its well-conceived ergonomic system 'ErgoFlex,' thanks to the flexible as well as ergonomically perfect design of our front and rear seats, is further proof of our engineering ingenuity." AGR is a renowned institution, specializing in the causes and preventions of back pain and spinal damage that awards their recognized seal of approval to particularly back-friendly products.

Up to 70 percent complain of back pain in Europe

The amount of time and effort Johnson Controls spends on designing a high-quality, ergonomically perfect seating system with its customers can also be measured into concrete figures: as a complex, research-intensive high-tech component in automobile construction, the development of the seating system represents approximately a tenth of the total value of the vehicle and nowadays often costs more than the powertrain.

"We at Johnson Controls are renowned for our expertise in automotive seating systems and convinced that investments made in this area are more than justified for the purpose of achieving the best possible ergonomics," emphasized Dr. Detlef Jürss. "Ultimately, we also have a responsibility to society, because in a European comparison, up to 70 percent of the population suffers from back pain, most often caused by sitting for an extended period of time. All the more reason then, that within our competence in automotive interiors, we apply our proven expertise in designing more ergonomically sound, safer and more comfortable seats in developing new, pioneering vehicle concepts."

Vauxhall Meriva seats: designed in cooperation with Johnson Controls

?The AGR-certified ergonomic seats designed in cooperation with Johnson Controls are available as optional extras in the new Vauxhall Meriva Enjoy and Cosmo. The driver?s seat features tilt adjustment, while both front seats offer 4-way adjustable electric lumbar support, an extendable thigh rest, as well as extra side support. The AGR-certified front seats designed in cooperation with Johnson Controls also offer a leading range of adjustments in the Vauxhall Meriva vehicle segment. At 240 millimeters of length and 65 millimeters of height, they allow passengers of all sizes and build to find the optimum sitting position.

Johnson Controls? riACT head restraint ensures maximum protection

Also an optional extra on the front seats in the new Vauxhall Meriva are the riACT head restraints designed by Johnson Controls to minimize the risk of whiplash. These reactive riACT head restraints received the best score in Euro NCAP?s (European New Car Assessment Program) simulated rear impact test for the Vauxhall Astra: with 3.74 out of a possible 4.00 points, the riACT head restraints achieved the highest rating ever given in this test.

The riACT head restraint designed by Johnson Controls is an extremely efficient and effective construction: once activated, it automatically returns to its initial position, thus making it fully functional again - without the need for a costly trip to the auto repair shop. A major benefit is that the actuator is integrated into the lower backrest, which is connected to the head restraint by a Bowden cable. In the event of a rear impact, it is activated by the passenger?s pelvis. The advantage of integrating it here is that the body has maximum contact with this part of the backrest. Usually, almost all conventional systems integrate the actuator into the upper backrest. But this can be a problem for small or petite passengers, as they cannot always activate the head restraint. ?The head restraint shoots forward in just 25 milliseconds,? explained Holger Jetses, vice president and general manager of GM/Vauxhall at Johnson Controls, ?and thus prevents in good time the cause of whiplash, namely, when the head rapidly and uncontrollably snaps forward and then back again. This allows Johnson Controls to offer its customers in the automotive sector - and ultimately also consumers -attractively priced and effective protection against the much-feared, and often lengthy rehabilitation of whiplash, without reducing sitting comfort by positioning head restraints too close to the head."

Johnson Controls rail system for highly flexible rear seats

Johnson Controls also contributes to the high degree of flexibility and versatility of the new Vauxhall Meriva, which can be easily converted from a five-seater into a four-, three- or even two-seater. The two outer rear seats can be moved a full 190 millimeters lengthwise and 50 millimeters sideways, providing more leg and shoulder room for rear seat passengers in the four-seater version. Moving the seats forward and back is possible thanks to angular rails from Johnson Controls? portfolio. ?The rear seat glides in one continuous movement on two axes,? explained Dr. Detlef Jürss. ?Passengers will appreciate the convenient ergonomically designed one-handed operation as significantly less effort is required to move the seats.? The system is particularly back-friendly, as the seats can be converted easily without having to remove them from the vehicle, gliding intuitively into position and thus benefiting the lower back in particular.

Photos are available online at www.johnsoncontrols.com/media .

Johnson Controls Automotive Experience is a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics. We support all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through our products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. With more than 200 plants worldwide, we are where our customers need us to be. Consumers have enjoyed the comfort and style of our products, from single components to complete interiors, in over 200 million vehicles.

Please contact us if you would like further information:

Johnson Controls GmbH
Automotive Experience
Industriestraße 20-30
51399 Burscheid
Germany

Ulrich Andree
Tel.: +49 2174 65-4343
Fax: +49 2174 65-3219?
E-mail: ulrich.andree@jci.com

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