Theories, Facts and Issues About Recliner and Track Release of Front Seats in Rear Impacts 2018-01-1329
Objective: This study involved a number of different tests addressing theories for recliner and track release of front seats in rear impacts. It addresses the validity of the theories.
Method: Several separate test series were conducted to address claims made about recliner and track release of front seats in rear impacts. The following theories were evaluated to see the validity of the issues:
Recliner teeth slipping with minimal damage to the teeth
Recliner teeth bypass by disengaging and re-engaging under load without damaging the teeth
Recliner shaft bending and torque releasing the recliners
Track release by heel loading
Track release with occupant load on the seat
Recliner handle rotation causing recliner release
Double pull body block tests
Results: Many of the theories were found to be uncorroborated once actual test data was available to judge the merits of the issue raised. The laboratory tests were set-up to specifically address particular issues. The test data and photos document the findings.
Conclusion: The data and photos provided here demonstrate the reasonableness of the recliner and track systems used in modern seats. The testing reported here addressed issues raised and provides test data on the theories.