US3340578A - Safety belt buckle - Google Patents

Safety belt buckle Download PDF

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US3340578A
US3340578A US527191A US52719166A US3340578A US 3340578 A US3340578 A US 3340578A US 527191 A US527191 A US 527191A US 52719166 A US52719166 A US 52719166A US 3340578 A US3340578 A US 3340578A
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Prior art keywords
buckle
belt
actuator
latch
tongue
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Expired - Lifetime
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US527191A
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Edward R Straight
Arthur A Robson
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VOGT Manufacturing CORP
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VOGT Manufacturing CORP
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Priority to US527191A priority Critical patent/US3340578A/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44BBUTTONS, PINS, BUCKLES, SLIDE FASTENERS, OR THE LIKE
    • A44B11/00Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts
    • A44B11/25Buckles; Similar fasteners for interconnecting straps or the like, e.g. for safety belts with two or more separable parts
    • A44B11/2503Safety buckles
    • A44B11/2534Safety buckles with the sliding motion of the buckle providing the opening or closing action
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T24/00Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc.
    • Y10T24/34Combined diverse multipart fasteners
    • Y10T24/3401Buckle
    • Y10T24/3423Buckle and separable fastening means for attached fastener
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T24/00Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc.
    • Y10T24/40Buckles
    • Y10T24/4079Sliding part of wedge
    • Y10T24/4084Looped strap
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T24/00Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc.
    • Y10T24/45Separable-fastener or required component thereof [e.g., projection and cavity to complete interlock]
    • Y10T24/45225Separable-fastener or required component thereof [e.g., projection and cavity to complete interlock] including member having distinct formations and mating member selectively interlocking therewith
    • Y10T24/45602Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity
    • Y10T24/45623Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity and operator therefor
    • Y10T24/4566Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity and operator therefor including slidably connected and guided element on receiving member
    • Y10T24/45665Receiving member includes either movable connection between interlocking components or variable configuration cavity and operator therefor including slidably connected and guided element on receiving member for shifting pivotally connected interlocking component

Description

p 12, 1967 E. R. STRAIGHT ETAL 3,340,578

SAFETY BELT BUCKLE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Feb. 14. 1966 FIG. 1

FIG. 5

8 2 O 3 6 O n w 4 m I F 4 4 2 2 3 5 A M w.. 1 6 w 1 In A13 v gu 2 4 Ln N .I w) kWh/-2 8 n k 0 3 j I 51L M 2 w r h w K. 2 8 6 4 (g 3 INVENTORS EDWARD R. STRAIGHT ARTHUR A. ROBSON ATTORNEYS FIG. 7

Sept 12, 1967 E. R. STRAIGHT ET AL 3,340,578

SAFETY BELT BUCKLE Filed Feb, 14, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 [I I l I i l 24 23 20 48 44 25 45 FIG. 3

32 42 40 4| 3o so? 43 4 FIG. 4

INVENTORS EDWARD R. STRAIGHT ARTHUR A. ROBSON W KM ATTORNEYS Sept. 12, 1967 Filed Feb. 14, 1966 E. R. STRAIGHT ET AL SAFETY BELT BUCKLE 5 Sheets-Sheet 8 EDWARD R. STRAIGHT ARTHUR A. ROBSON ATTORNEY-S United States Patent 3,340,578 SAFETY BELT BUCKLE Edward R. Straight, Penfield, and Arthur A. Robson,

Scottsville, N.Y., assignors to Vogt Manufacturing Corporation, Rochester, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Feb. 14, 1966, Ser. No. 527,191 10 Claims. (Cl. 24-77) This invention relates to an improved buckle for safety belts or seat belts such as used by occupants of motor vehicles, aircraft, and the like. Such safety belts generally comprise two belt sections, one end of each of which' is anchored to the vehicle and the opposite ends of which are respectively secured to the buckle and to a tongue received in and latched by the buckle.

Prior buckles have spring-tensioned, pivotal latch levers, that are swung outwardly to positions in which they interfere with movements and clothing and from which they can snap closed to injure fingers or catch clothing. Such latch levers also can he accidentally opened. Prior buckles also have a knurled bar slidable adjacent an abutment wall for cinching a belt section between the bar and the wall. For lengthening the adjustment of the cinched length of belt, it has been necessary to turn the buckle to an orientation in which the belt section to which it is attached tends to pull the cinch bar away from the abutment wall to allow the belt to slide past the abutment wall and around the cinch .bar. This turning and pulling of the buckle requires awkward and inconvenient motions.

Objects of this invention include, but are not limited to: overcoming the drawbacks of prior buckles; providing a safety belt buckle that can be adjusted for length to fit the body of the user by easy and natural motions of the user, and that is easier and more convenient to latch; providing a safety belt buckle that will not accidentally open; and providing all these characteristics in an attractive buckle that is more economical to manufacture and that is inherently stronger, more reliable, and fool proof in service.

Generally, the invention broadly comprises a buckle having a member-slidable in a first direction for unlatching the tongue to open the buckle, and slidable in an opposite, second direction for lengthening the adjustment of the length of belt to which it is secured. The first direc tion of motion is preferably against the restraining force of the belt section to which the tongue is attached, so that movement of the member away from the tongue automatically opens the buckle. The second direction of motion is preferably against the restraining force of the belt section to which the buckle is attached so that movement of the member in a belt-lengthening direction automatically allows lengthening. The movable member preferably encloses the outer portion of the buckle as a cover to afford a natural grip for accomplishing the operating motions.

Referring to the drawings in which a preferred, specific embodiment of the invention is illustrated:

FIG. 1 depicts in plan view a buckle of this invention and its associated tongue;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the buckle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partially cut-away top view of the buckle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section of the buckle of FIG. 3 taken along the line 4-4;

FIG. 5 shows a portion of the section of FIG. 4 with the buckle actuated to unlatch the tongue;

FIG. 6 shows a portion of the section of FIG. 4 with the buckle actuated for length adjustment of the belt;

FIG. 7 is a transverse section of the buckle of FIG. 3 taken along the line 7--7; and

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of the buckle and associated tongue according to the invention.

3,340 ,5 Patented Sept. 12, 1967 More specifically, the drawings illustrate a buckle 19 according to the invention having a cover 30 and an associated tongue 22. FIGS. 1 and 2 show a general preferred shape for the buckle 19 and illustrate that its working elements can be enclosed within the clean lines of the cover 30. Tongue 22 is releasably engaged by a latch 21 in the buckle 19, and is secured to a belt section 27. Buckle 19 is adj-ustably secured to another belt section 28. The working elements of buckle 19 are arranged upon a base plate 20 and are preferably substantially enclosed by cover 30.

FIG. 2 shows in solid lines the normal position of cover 30 and in broken lines the positions to which cover 30 can be slidably moved. The broken-line position 30a is preferably a cinch-actuating position in which the length of belt 28 can be adjusted, and broken-line position 3012 is preferably the latch-actuating position for releasing tongue 22 from buckle 19. Stops 31 are preferably provided on cover 30 for engaging walls 33 (FIG. 5) to limit the motion of cover 30 toward position 30b, and stop 32 is preferably provided on cover 30 for engaging hook 42 (FIG. 6) on base plate 20 to limit the motion of cover 30 toward position 30a.

The working elements of buckle 19 are best illustrated in FIGS. 3-8.

Latch 21 is preferably pivotal as by loose mounting on pin 26 extending between walls 33 that are preferably struck up from base plate 20. Latching hooks 34 on latch 21 (best shown in FIG. 5) are disposed for interlockmg engagement with aperture surfaces 35 on tongue 22 for retaining tongue 22 in latched position in buckle 19. Such a latched position is illustrated in FIG. 4, and an unlatched position with latch 21 raised for releasing tongue 22 is illustrated in FIG. 5.

Walls 33 also limit the extent of insertion of tongue 22 into buckle 19, and bent-over side wall portions 36 of the base plate 20 guide tongue 22 into buckle 19 and retarn tongue 22 fiat against the bed of base plate 20. The latching end of latch 21 is preferably provided with upwardly beveled surface 37. This surface is engaged by the leading end of tongue 22 upon insertion into the buckle so that latch 21 is raised by the leading end of tongue 22 as the tongue is slid under latch 21 until hook portions 34 snap downwardly into engagement with aperture surfaces 35 after tongue 22 is properly seated in the buckle. Spring portions 38 engage the upper surface of latch 21 to bias 1t downwardly toward base plate 20 for normally assuming its latched position.

Of course, other latch means can be used in the inventive buckle, and the precise latching structure is not important under the basic concepts of the invention.

Latch 21 is moved by latch actuator 25 that is preferably secured to cover 30 as by welding, brazing, or by the 1llustrated screws 43. Bent-out side guides 44 on actuator 25 extend under the upper edge of apertures 45 in the side walls of base plate 20 to hold actuator 25 in a slidable positron enclosing the top of buckle 19. A downwardly extending cam portion 46 of actuator 25 is disposed to engagea rearward lever portion 47 of latch 21 in a camming relation upon rearward movement of cover 30 for pivotrng latch 21 open, as best shown in FIG. 5.

Actuator 25 is preferably held in a central, neutral positron by a balance of spring bias force. Spring portions 48 engage the forward surfaces of bent-down fingers 50 at the back of actuator 25 to urge cam 46 into light engagement with a lever portion 47 of latch 21. Spring portion 49 engages the rearward face of a centrally disposed bentdown finger 51 of actuator 25 to urge actuator 25 forward into engagement with spring portions 48. This normal equilibrium position for actuator 25 effectively positions cover 30 in a central position and permits latch 21 to be biased downwardly to its latched position.

Movement of cover 30 and actuator 25 rearwardly to the position illustrated in FIG. 5 tensions spring 49 against finger 51 as well as tensioning spring portions 38 that bias latch 21, so that cover 30 will be returned from such a position to its central position. Movement of cover 30 and actuator 25 forwardly tensions spring portions 48 which return cover 30 to its normal position. This assures that cover 30 stays in its central position unless gripped by the wearer and deliberately actuated.

As best shown in FIG. 8, it is preferred that spring portions 38, 48 and 49 all be formed from a single resilient element 52 which is preferably secured to base late 20 as by rivets 53 or other convenient means.

At the opposite end of the buckle from latch 21 is a movable cinch means preferably formed as slidable cinch bar 23, around which a 100p of belt section 28 is adjustably retained. Belt 28 is retained in any adjusted position by being pinched between cinch bar 23 and abutment wall 24 as best illustrated in FIG. 4. The rearward edge of cinch bar 23 preferably has a transverse channel 39 straddled by a pair of transverse ridges 40 to force belt 28 into the illustrated deformity around abutment wall 24 for optimum cinching of belt 28 in place. Also, ridges 40, by overlapping the edge of abutment wall 24, limit the rotational canting of cinch bar 23.

Cinch bar 23 is preferably loosely retained in carrier 41 which in turn is slidably retained in the space between base plate 20 and cover 30. Actuator 25 and other obstructions forwardly of carrier 41 limit the movement of carrier 41 toward the latch end of the buckle, and abutment 'wall 24 limits rearward movement of carrier 41. Cinch bar 23 is preferably permitted a few degrees of free pivotal movement within carrier 41 to cant ridges 40 slightly up or down. Such canting both insures a secure cinching of belt 28 and facilitates its free adjustment.

It is preferred that the lowermost portion of belt section 28 be anchored to the vehicle in which the belt is used, and that the uppermost portion of section 28 terminate in free end 29 as best illustrated in FIG. 8. With such an arrangement, any heavy strain on the lower portion of section 28 tends to pivot cinch bar 23 clockwise to the position illustrated in FIG. 4 and to force lower ridge 40 upwardly toward abutment wall 24 for a firm cinch. Such a strain also tends to move cinch bar 23 rearwardly to force belt 28 tightly against abutment wall 24. In shortening the length adjustment of belt section 28, free end 29 is pulled away from buckle 19, and this tends to cant cinch bar 23 in the opposite counterclockwise direction to loosen the cinch of belt 28 against abutment wall 24 as applied by ridges 40. Thus, shortening of the belt section 28 is accomplished freely and easily, but any strain on the anchored portion of belt section 28 is met with a firm cinch.

Stop 32 on cover 30 (previously mentioned as limiting the forward movement of cover 30 and best illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4 and 6) is preferably formed as an open loop extending downwardly from the inside of cover 30. A corresponding hook 42 is preferably secured to the cinch end of base plate 20 for interlocking with stop 32 by engagement of stop 32 with the inside of hook 42 to hold cover 30 down to base plate 20 and to limit the forward motion of cover 30. For the opposite direction of motion, stops 31 engage walls 33 to limit the travel of cover 30.

In addition to its function of limiting motion, stop 32 engages the rearward edge of carrier 41 to force carrier 41 forward as cover 30 is moved forward toward the posi tion illustrated in FIG. 6. Such forward motion of carrier 41 moves cinch bar 23 away from abutment wall 24 to permit length adjustment of belt 28.

In operation, a user wishing to fasten a seat belt with the inventive buckle grips tongue 22 and an adjacent portion of belt section 27 in one hand and cover 30 in the other hand. If belt section 28 needs lengthening, the wearer merely pulls cover 30 toward the belt-lengthening position, and this causes stop 32 to move carrier 41 and cinch bar 23 away from abutment wall 24 to free belt section 28 for easy and automatic lengthening. When belt section 28 is sufficiently lengthened, tongue 22 is inserted between cover 30 and base plate 28 with sufficient force to cam open latch 21 and latch the tongue in place. If belt section 28 has been lengthened too far, the free end 29 of belt 28 is then pulled away from the buckle to run belt 28 around cinch bar 23 in a shortening direction. If the buckled belt is placed under strain, belt section 28 is cinched against wall 24 by bar 23. When the user wants to release the inventive buckle, he merely grips cover 30 and pulls it away from tongue 22 and belt section 27, which results in camming latch 21 open and releasing tongue 22.

Thus, it can be seen that the inventive buckle is easily and naturally adjusted for length by pulling the buckle toward the lengthening position, and is easily and naturally opened by pulling the buckle in the opposite or opening position. Cover 30 is preferably formed not only to substantially enclose the upper surfaces of buckle 19 and to provide an attractive and clean-lined design, but to insure that the wearer will grip the buckle only by the convenient cover-actuator, and not by the base plate or other unactuatable element. Also, the inventive buckle does not have to be tilted or turned in an unnatural direction to lengthen its adjustment on belt 28, nor does the inventive buckle have a pivotal cover that has to be swung open and can accidentally unlatch, or that is arranged so it can catch clothing, or snap closed under spring tension. The inventive buckle is thus fool-proof, convenient, and safe, and can be made exceptionally strong without great expense.

Other features, advantages, and other specific embodiments of this invention will be apparent to those exercising ordinary skill in the pertinent art after considering the foregoing disclosure. In this regard, while a specific preferred embodiment of our invention has been described in considerable detail, such disclosure is illustrative, rather than limiting, and other embodiments, variations, and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as disclosed and claimed.

We claim:

1. In a safety belt buckle having movable, biased latch means for latching in place a tongue and having movable cinch means for adjustably retaining a length of belt, said latch means and said cinch means being arranged on a base, the improvement comprising: an actuator slidable in opposed directions over said base; first means on said actuator for moving said cinch means upon movement of said actuator in a first one of said directions to allow length adjustment of said belt relative to said cinch means; and second means on said actuator for moving said latch means upon movement of said actuator in a second one of said directions to open said latch means for releasing said tongue.

2. The buckle of claim 1 wherein said actuator comprises a cover for said buckle and said actuator is springbiased to assume a central, neutral position.

3. The buckle of claim 2 wherein said latch means are movable independently of said actuator for receiving said tongue.

4. The buckle of claim 1 wherein said first direction of movement of said actuator is toward the tongue-receiving end of said buckle and said second direction of movement of said actuator is away from said tongue-receiving end of said buckle.

5. In a safety belt buckle including a base having adjacent one end thereof movable, spring-biased latch means for receiving and latching in place a tongue and having adjacent the other end thereof a movable cinch bar coo-perable with an abutment surface for adjustably retaining a length of belt, the improvement comprising: an actuator mounted over said base and biased to assume a central, neutral position, said actuator being slidable from said central position in opposed directions; first means on said actuator for moving said cinch bar away from said abutment surface upon movement of said actuator in a first direction to allow length adjustment of said belt; and second means on said actuator for opening said latch means upon movement of said actuator in a second one of said directions to release said tongue.

6. The buckle of claim 5 wherein said actuator comprises a cover for said buckle, and said latch means is movable independently of said cover.

7. The buckle of claim 5 wherein said second means comprises a cam that pivots said latch means.

8. The buckle of claim 6 wherein said first direction of movement of said actuator is toward said one end of said base, and said second direction of movement of said actuator is toward said other end of said base.

9. The buckle of claim 8 wherein movement of said 6 actuator in said first direction against the restraining force of said belt causes said belt to slide past said cinch bar for lengthening said belt.

10. The buckle of claim 9 wherein said second means comprise a cam, and movement of said actuator in said second direction against the restraining force of said tongue causes said cam to pivot said latch means to release said tongue.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,248,769 5/1966 Oliver. 3,262,169 7/1966 Jantzen 24-77 3,294,444 12/1966 Anderson.

BERNARD A. GELAK, Primary Examiner.

Claims (1)

1. IN A SAFETY BELT BUCKLE HAVING MOVABLE, BIASED LATCH MEANS FOR LATCHING IN PLACE A TONGUE AND HAVING MOVABLE CINCH MEANS FOR ADJUSTABLY RETAINING A LENGTH OF BELT, SAID LATCH MEANS AND SAID CINCH MEANS BEING ARRANGED ON A BASE, THE IMPROVEMENT COMPRISING: AN ACTUATOR SLIDABLE IN OPPOSED DIRECTIONS OVER SAID BASE; FIRST MEANS ON SAID ACTUATOR FOR MOVING SAID CINCH MEANS UPON MOVEMENT OF SAID ACTUATOR IN A FIRST ONE OF SAID DIRECTIONS TO ALLOW LENGTH ADJUSTMENT OF SAID BELT RELATIVE TO SAID CINCH MEANS; AND SECOND MEANS ON SAID ACTUATOR FOR MOVING SAID LATCH MEANS UPON MOVEMENT OF SAID ACTUATOR IN A SECOND ONE OF SAID DIRECTIONS TO OPEN SAID LATCH MEANS FOR RELEASING SAID TONGUE.
US527191A 1966-02-14 1966-02-14 Safety belt buckle Expired - Lifetime US3340578A (en)

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3431606A (en) * 1967-03-07 1969-03-11 Steinthal & Co Inc M Safety belt buckle
US3523340A (en) * 1968-04-15 1970-08-11 Robbins Seat Belt Co Pushbutton buckle with slide action
US3895196A (en) * 1972-11-30 1975-07-15 Wall Ltd Howard Vehicle safety belts and harnesses and buckles for them
US4196499A (en) * 1977-02-25 1980-04-08 Ulf Tolfsen Fastening means for safety belts
US4266325A (en) * 1976-07-19 1981-05-12 Autoliv Ab Safety belt for vehicles
US4388746A (en) * 1980-11-18 1983-06-21 Autoflug-Stakupress Gmbh & Co. Buckle for a safety belt
US4685177A (en) * 1985-07-17 1987-08-11 Aciers Et Outillage Peugeot Buckle, especially for a safety belt for an automobile vehicle
US5417455A (en) * 1989-11-27 1995-05-23 Takata Inc. Free-falling tip with full locking

Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3248769A (en) * 1963-12-23 1966-05-03 Gen Motors Corp Seat belt buckle
US3262169A (en) * 1965-01-21 1966-07-26 Steinthal & Co Inc M Buckle assembly
US3294444A (en) * 1964-06-18 1966-12-27 Franklin C Anderson Seat belt for vehicles

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3248769A (en) * 1963-12-23 1966-05-03 Gen Motors Corp Seat belt buckle
US3294444A (en) * 1964-06-18 1966-12-27 Franklin C Anderson Seat belt for vehicles
US3262169A (en) * 1965-01-21 1966-07-26 Steinthal & Co Inc M Buckle assembly

Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3431606A (en) * 1967-03-07 1969-03-11 Steinthal & Co Inc M Safety belt buckle
US3523340A (en) * 1968-04-15 1970-08-11 Robbins Seat Belt Co Pushbutton buckle with slide action
US3895196A (en) * 1972-11-30 1975-07-15 Wall Ltd Howard Vehicle safety belts and harnesses and buckles for them
US4266325A (en) * 1976-07-19 1981-05-12 Autoliv Ab Safety belt for vehicles
US4196499A (en) * 1977-02-25 1980-04-08 Ulf Tolfsen Fastening means for safety belts
US4388746A (en) * 1980-11-18 1983-06-21 Autoflug-Stakupress Gmbh & Co. Buckle for a safety belt
US4685177A (en) * 1985-07-17 1987-08-11 Aciers Et Outillage Peugeot Buckle, especially for a safety belt for an automobile vehicle
US5417455A (en) * 1989-11-27 1995-05-23 Takata Inc. Free-falling tip with full locking

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