WO1996020099A1 - Anti-theft device for automobiles and airbags - Google Patents

Anti-theft device for automobiles and airbags Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1996020099A1
WO1996020099A1 PCT/US1995/016500 US9516500W WO9620099A1 WO 1996020099 A1 WO1996020099 A1 WO 1996020099A1 US 9516500 W US9516500 W US 9516500W WO 9620099 A1 WO9620099 A1 WO 9620099A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
cover
steering wheel
bar
lock
recited
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1995/016500
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Ki Il Kim
Original Assignee
Ki Il Kim
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to KR1019940036457A priority Critical patent/KR960021974A/en
Priority to KR94/36457 priority
Priority to US08/377,751 priority
Priority to US08/377,751 priority patent/US5540067A/en
Priority to US08/510,202 priority
Priority to US51020295A priority
Application filed by Ki Il Kim filed Critical Ki Il Kim
Publication of WO1996020099A1 publication Critical patent/WO1996020099A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R25/00Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles
    • B60R25/01Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles operating on vehicle systems or fittings, e.g. on doors, seats or windscreens
    • B60R25/02Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles operating on vehicle systems or fittings, e.g. on doors, seats or windscreens operating on the steering mechanism
    • B60R25/022Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles operating on vehicle systems or fittings, e.g. on doors, seats or windscreens operating on the steering mechanism operating on the steering wheel, e.g. bars locked to the steering wheel rim
    • B60R25/0225Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles operating on vehicle systems or fittings, e.g. on doors, seats or windscreens operating on the steering mechanism operating on the steering wheel, e.g. bars locked to the steering wheel rim using a rod locked on the steering wheel rim
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B60VEHICLES IN GENERAL
    • B60RVEHICLES, VEHICLE FITTINGS, OR VEHICLE PARTS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B60R25/00Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles
    • B60R25/01Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles operating on vehicle systems or fittings, e.g. on doors, seats or windscreens
    • B60R25/02Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles operating on vehicle systems or fittings, e.g. on doors, seats or windscreens operating on the steering mechanism
    • B60R25/022Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles operating on vehicle systems or fittings, e.g. on doors, seats or windscreens operating on the steering mechanism operating on the steering wheel, e.g. bars locked to the steering wheel rim
    • B60R25/0227Fittings or systems for preventing or indicating unauthorised use or theft of vehicles operating on vehicle systems or fittings, e.g. on doors, seats or windscreens operating on the steering mechanism operating on the steering wheel, e.g. bars locked to the steering wheel rim using means preventing access, e.g. boxes enclosing the steering wheel

Abstract

A device for deterring theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag (60) and an automobile comprises a cover (1, 3, 21) configured to generally cover a substantial portion of a steering wheel (50) so as to inhibit access to an airbag (60) mounted within the steering wheel (50), and also so as to inhibit use of the steering wheel (50). A lock (20) inhibits removal of the cover (1, 3, 21) when the lock (20) is in the unlocked configuration thereof. Optionally, a bar (107) extends through the cover (1, 3, 21) to prevent unauthorized removal of the cover and to inhibit rotation of the steering wheel (50). Thus, the device deters theft of the airbag by preventing a thief from having access thereto and deters theft of the automobile by preventing the thief from driving the automobile.

Description

ANTI-THEFT DEVICE FOR AUTOMOBILES AND AIRBAGS
Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to anti- theft devices and more particularly to a device for deterring the theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag and/or an automobile.
Background of the Invention Anti-theft devices for automobiles are well known. Such devices typically either sound an alarm in response to an attempt to steal an automobile or they attempt to physically inhibit theft of the automobile. Devices which attempt to physically inhibit theft of the automobile include steering column locks, brake/gear shift locks, brake/steering wheel locks, and various devices which attach to the steering wheel so as to inhibit its unauthorized use.
One example of a device which attaches to a steering wheel is disclosed in United States Patent No. 5,115,652. One end of this device passes under the rim of the steering wheel while the other end of the device is locked to a diametrically opposed portion of the rim of the steering wheel. The device passes over the steering wheel hub.
Although such devices which attach to the steering wheel are convenient to use and are generally effective in deterring theft of the automobile, such devices suffer from inherent deficiencies. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, such devices do not afford the degree of security generally desired. For example, it is generally possible to remove such devices by merely cutting the steering wheel and sliding the locked portion of the device off through the cut. The theft of airbags from automobiles is becoming increasingly prevalent due to their high volume an the ease with which they may typically be stolen. Thus, airbags are commonly stolen from vehicles, and subsequently resold to automotive parts stores and repair facilities.
Additionally, such contemporary steering wheel mounted anti-theft devices typically do not provide sufficient coverage of the steering wheel hub so as to prevent theft of an airbag mounted therein. Even if the steering wheel hub is sufficiently covered by the device, the device may simply be removed by cutting the steering wheel, as discussed above.
Thus, although the prior art has generally recognized the problem of preventing automobile theft, the solutions have, to date, been ineffective in providing a satisfactory remedy.
Summary of the Invention
The present invention specifically addresses and alleviates the above-mentioned deficiencies associated with the prior art. More particularly, the present invention comprises a device for deterring theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag and/or an automobile. The device comprises a cover configured to generally enclose a substantial portion of a steering wheel so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel and also so as to inhibit use of the steering wheel. A lock, having locked and unlocked positions, is formed to the cover. The lock and the cover are configured so as to inhibit unauthorized removal of the cover from the steering wheel when the lock is in the locked configuration thereof and so as to facilitate easy removal of the cover from the steering wheel when the lock is in the unlocked configuration thereof.
The cover deters theft of the airbag by inhibiting access thereto, since the cover completely protects the hub of the steering wheel where such airbags are located. The device deters theft of the automobile by inhibiting use of the steering wheel. The cover is preferably configured so as to fit loosely upon the steering wheel such that turning the steering wheel cover does not substantially turn the steering wheel. Thus, a thief attempting to steal the automobile cannot properly use the steering wheel and the automobile cannot be driven.
Optionally, a plurality of rollers are disposed about the inner periphery of the cover so as to contact the steering wheel in a manner which facilitates turning of the cover without substantially turning the steering wheel. That is, as the steering wheel cover is turned, the rollers function as roller bearings so as to allow the steering wheel to remain substantially stationary. Again, this inhibits proper use of the steering wheel as long as the steering wheel cover is in place.
Optionally, an alarm is provided so as to sound if an attempt is made to remove the cover from the steering wheel without unlocking the lock. The alarm may either be housed within the steering wheel cover or attached thereto. The alarm may be deactivated either by unlocking the lock which maintains the steering wheel cover upon the steering wheel or, alternatively, may be disabled via a separate lock or keypad. Optionally, either the same keypad as that utilized to deactivate the alarm, or a different keypad, may similarly be utilized to effect unlocking of the cover, so as to facilitate removal thereof from the steering wheel.
The cover is configured so as to enclose a substantial portion of the steering wheel such that it cannot be removed therefrom without first being unlocked. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the cover completely encloses that portion of the steering wheel facing the driver and at least partially encloses the opposite surface thereof. Thus, the cover comprises a lip which encircles the rim of the steering wheel. The lip preferably encircles or wraps around the rim of the steering wheel by at least 120 degrees so as to capture the steering wheel and thereby prevent removal of the cover without the unlocking thereof. Preferably, the lip encircles the steering wheel by approximately 180 degrees, so as to form parallel front and rear surfaces of the cover, thus giving the periphery of the cover a generally U-shaped, cross-sectional configuration.
By forming the cover so as to enclose the rim of the steering wheel in such a manner, a thief is effectively denied access to the rim of the steering wheel and is thus prevented from cutting the steering wheel in a manner which allows the cover to be removed therefrom. Thus, the unauthorized removal of the anti-theft device of the present invention cannot be easily accomplished with simple hand tools. Optionally, a bar is attached to the cover so as to extend therefrom in a manner which inhibits rotation of the cover, and thus further inhibits use of the steering wheel. The bar may extend from the cover in any direction which inhibits use of the steering wheel. The bar is preferably positioned so as to strike a portion of the automobile, e.g., the dashboard, when an attempt is made to rotate the steering wheel. The bar may alternatively be configured to strike the driver when an attempt is made to rotate the steering wheel. Thus, the bar may protrude perpendicularly, i.e., generally axially, from the rear (away from the driver) surface of the cover, or alternatively may protrude radially from the cover. Optionally, a plurality of such bars may be utilized. In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the cover comprises front and rear surfaces, each of which have an opening formed therein through which the bar is extendable. A pivot pin is formed proximate the opening in the front surface, to which the bar is pivotally attached via a slot formed in the bar such that the bar is pivotable between a first position in laminar juxtaposition to the front surface of the cover and a second position wherein the bar is received within the openings formed in the front and rear surfaces of the cover so as to extend from the rear surface of the cover and thereby inhibit rotation of the steering wheel. To move the bar from the first position to the second position thereof, the bar is rotated approximately 90 degrees about the pivot pin from the first position thereof to an intermediate position wherein the bar is in axial alignment with the openings in the first and second surfaces. Next, the bar is slid axially through the openings in the first and second surfaces of the cover, as the pivot pin slides along the slot formed in the bar. Detent means maintain the bar in the first position thereof, prior to its being rotated and inserted through the openings in the first and second surfaces of the cover, and a locking means, preferably the same lock utilized to secure the cover to the steering wheel, secures the bar in the extended or second position thereof. In a first embodiment of the present invention, the cover comprises a generally semicircular first cover section and a similar, generally semicircular, second cover section which is pivotally attached to the first cover section and movable between a stowed position generally within the first cover section and a deployed position juxtaposed to the first cover section such that the first and second cover sections, taken together, generally define a circular housing within which a steering wheel is capturable. A pivot pin interconnects the first and second cover sections so as to facilitate movement of the second cover section between the stowed and deployed positions thereof.
In a second embodiment of the present invention, the cover comprises a generally semicircular first cover section and a generally semicircular second cover section hingedly attached to the first cover section in a generally clam shell-like fashion such that the second cover section has an open position separated sufficiently from the first cover section such that the steering wheel is receivable within the first cover section and has a closed position such that the first and second cover sections generally define a circular housing within which the steering wheel is capturable.
In a third embodiment of the present invention, the cover comprises a generally semicircular first cover section and a generally semicircular second cover section removably attachable to the first cover section such that the first and second cover sections generally define a circular housing within which a steering wheel is capturable.
In a fourth embodiment of the present invention, the cover comprises a generally wedge-shaped first cover section and a plurality of nested, generally wedge- shaped, second cover sections pivotally attached to said first cover section and movable between a stowed position generally within the first cover section and a deployed position juxtaposed to the first cover section such that the first cover section and second cover sections define a circular housing within which a steering wheel is capturable.
Alternatively, the entire steering wheel need not be covered, as in the first, second, third, and fourth embodiments of the present invention. Rather, adequate protection may be provided by covering a substantial portion of the steering wheel in a manner which inhibits access to the hub portion thereof so as to prevent theft of the airbag stored therein, and which also inhibits use of the steering wheel to drive the automobile. The use of the steering wheel is preferably inhibited via a bar which extends through the cover so as to strike the dash board or other portion of the automobile when an attempt is made to turn the steering wheel, as in the first, second, third, and fourth embodiments of the present invention. The amount of the steering wheel which is covered which is covered depends upon the degree of security desired and the size and weight limitations imposed upon the cover. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, providing a more secure anti-theft device by covering a greater portion of the steering wheel inherently increases the size and weight of the device undesirably. Thus, a balance must be obtained between the degree of security provided and the size and weight of the anti- theft device. An attempt to optimize this balance is provided in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth embodiments of the present invention, as discussed in detail below.
Thus, the cover is optionally configured so as to conceal at least a portion of a steering wheel, so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel. As in the first, second, third, and fourth embodiments of the present invention, the cover hooks around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel such that it must be unhooked therefrom in order to remove the cover. A retainer member has unlocked and locked positions thereof. The retainer member allows attachment of the cover to the steering wheel and removal of the cover therefrom when in the unlocked position and inhibits removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position. A lock facilitates locking of the retainer member in the locked position and preferably comprises either a key lock or combination lock, as in the first, second, third, and fourth embodiments of the present invention.
In a fifth embodiment of the present invention, the cover is generally configured as a semicircle such that it covers approximately one-half of the steering wheel so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel. The cover preferably comprises a downturned lip for hooking around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel. Alternatively, the cover may comprise one or more hooks which hook around the steering wheel, rather than a continuous downturned lip. The use of such hooks is typically required on those cars wherein the spokes of the steering wheel would interfere with such a downturned lip, thereby preventing proper mounting of the anti-theft device to the steering wheel. Sufficient clearance is provided between the hooks such that they do not interfere with the spokes of the steering wheel during installation of the anti-theft device.
In a similar fashion, the downturned lip may comprise cutouts so as to provide clearance for the spokes of the steering wheel. The cutouts generally define hooks of the remainder of the downturned lip, for securing the cover to the steering wheel.
According to the fifth embodiment of the present invention, the retainer member comprises a bar, having unlocked and locked positions thereof, and extendible through the cover so as to capture a peripheral portion of the steering wheel between the cover and the bar to inhibit removal of the cover from the steering wheel. The bar allows attachment of the cover to the steering wheel and removal of the cover therefrom when the bar is in the unlocked position thereof and inhibits removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position thereof. A lock facilitates locking of the bar in the locked position thereof so as to inhibit unauthorized removal of the cover from the steering wheel. In a sixth embodiment of the present invention, the cover is formed in a fashion similar to that of the fifth embodiment thereof, and the bar is extendible through the cover so as to capture both the hub and a peripheral portion of the steering wheel between the cover and the bar to prevent removal of the cover from the steering wheel. The cover extends sufficiently about the steering wheel to facilitate the extension of a bar therethrough in such a fashion.
In a seventh embodiment of the present invention, the cover is formed in a fashion similar to that of the fifth and sixth embodiments thereof and the attachment member comprises a hook member. The hook member is pivotally attached to the cover such that the hook member has an unlocked and a locked position thereof. The hook member allows attachment of the cover to the steering wheel and removal of the cover therefrom when in the unlocked position thereof and inhibits removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position thereof. In the locked position, the hook member captures the steering wheel between the hook member and the cover. A lock locks the hook member in a locked position thereof so as to inhibit unauthorized removal of the cover from the steering wheel.
In an eighth embodiment of the present invention, the cover is configured such that it is substantially smaller than in the first through seventh embodiments thereof and is generally configured as a first wedge for covering a small portion of the steering wheel so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel. The cover comprises a downturned lip for hooking around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel. A retainer member is configured as either a second wedge or a hook. The retainer member has locked and unlocked positions thereof. The retainer member allows attachment of the cover to the steering wheel and removal of the cover therefrom when in the unlocked position thereof and inhibits removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position thereof. In the locked position thereof, the retainer member captures the steering wheel between the retainer member and the cover. A lock locks the hook in the locked position thereof so as to prevent unauthorized removed of the cover from the steering wheel. A ninth embodiment of the present invention is similar to the fifth embodiment thereof and comprises a locking bar wherein the lock mechanism for locking the bar to the cover is contained within the bar itself, rather than being formed as a portion of the cover as in the fifth embodiment of the present invention. The locking bar may comprise either a single bar or double bar assembly. In the double bar assembly, the second, or outboard bar is generally parallel to the first or inboard bar and may, optionally comprise a bend so as to cause the distal end thereof to angle in the outboard direction slightly. Alternatively, the entire length of the outboard bar may be disposed at an angle to the inboard bar so as to extend in the outboard direction slightly. Such bending or angling of the outboard bar causes it to extend farther away from the steering wheel in a manner which makes it more likely to contact the dashboard, turn signal lever, gear shift, etc., when an attempt is made to rotate the steering wheel with the cover attached.
An adjustable single or double bar may alternatively be utilized so as to allow the user to control the effective length thereof. Thus, the adjustable single or double bar is inserted through the cover until a desired length thereof extends beyond, e.g., below, the cover so as to cause the desired interference with the dashboard, turn signals, gear shift, etc.
In either the single or double bar configurations, the lock for locking the bar to the cover may be disposed in or formed to either the lock bar or the cover, as desired.
An optional flexible covering, preferably formed of canvas, fabric, or the like, may be utilized to provide an attractive and soft exterior for the metal cover. The fabric covering is formed so as to envelope substantially the entire outer or exposed surfaces of the steering wheel cover when the steering wheel cover is installed upon a steering wheel. The use of such a soft fabric covering prevents the metal steering wheel cover from accidentally marring any surfaces which it may contact, and also provides a convenient means for carrying the metal steering wheel cover, preferably via a fabric handle formed to the fabric covering. The fabric covering preferably covers substantially the entire steering wheel cover when the steering wheel cover is not installed upon the steering wheel. Preferably, the canvass covering comprises a pocket for holding the lock bar when the lock bar is not in use.
Additionally, the canvass covering protects the metal cover from the heat of the sun in hot summer conditions, thereby preventing the metal cover from attaining a temperature which may make it difficult to remove by hand. It is common in hot climates for a car steering wheel to become sufficiently hot that it is uncomfortable and/or harmful for a driver to touch the steering wheel. This might also occur with the metal cover, if such a canvas covering or the like were not utilized.
Thus, the anti-theft device of the present invention provides a means for deterring theft of both steering wheel mounted airbags and automobiles. These, as well as other advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the following description and drawings. It is understood that changes in the specific structure shown and described may be made within the scope of the claims without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Brief Description of the Drawings
Figure 1 is a perspective view of the first embodiment of the present invention; Figure 2 is a cross-sectional side view of the device of Figure 1; Figure 3 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the present invention;
Figure 4 is a cross-sectional side view of the device of Figure 3; Figure 5 is a perspective view of the third embodiment of the present invention;
Figure 6 is a cross-sectional side view of the device of Figure 5;
Figure 7 is a perspective view of the fourth embodiment of the present invention;
Figure 8 is a cross-sectional side view of the device of Figure 7;
Figure 9 is an alternative configuration of the present invention wherein an alarm is formed within a separate compartment formed to the cover of the device;
Figure 10 is a perspective view of the fourth embodiment of Figures 7 and 8 showing the device completely collapsed, such as for storage;
Figure 11 is a perspective view of the fifth embodiment of the present invention showing a bar positioned for insertion therein so as to capture a portion of the periphery of a steering wheel as shown in
Figure 12;
Figure 12 is a cross-sectional side view of the fifth embodiment of the present invention showing the cover installed upon a steering wheel and having the bar inserted through the cover so as to capture a peripheral portion of the steering wheel between the bar and the cover; Figure 13 is a top view of a sixth embodiment of the present invention wherein the bar is inserted so as to capture the hub and peripheral portion of the steering wheel between the bar and the cover;
Figure 14 is a top view of an eighth embodiment of the present invention wherein the cover comprises a wedge shaped member and the retainer similarly comprises a wedge shaped member as well; Figure 15 is a bottom view of a seventh embodiment of the present invention wherein the cover is configured generally as a semicircular member as in the fifth and sixth embodiments of the present invention and the retainer is configured as a wedge shaped member similar to that of the eighth embodiment of the present invention;
Figure 16 is a side view of a steering wheel formed such that a cover having a downturned lip is suitable for attachment thereto;
Figure 17 is a steering wheel configured such that a cover having a continuous downturned lip cannot be installed therefrom, since the spokes of the steering wheel would interfere therewith, thus necessitating the use of a plurality of hooks instead of a continuous downturned lip or having cutouts formed in the downturned lip so as to provide clearance for the spokes;
Figure 18 is a bottom view of a ninth embodiment of the present invention wherein a bar attaches the cover to the steering wheel in a fashion similar to that of the fifth embodiment of the present invention shown in Figure 11, and also showing a canvas covering positioned to receive the metal steering wheel cover;
Figure 19 is a top view of the cover of Figure 18; Figure 20 is a top view of the cover of Figure 19 wherein the fabric covering has been wrapped around the metal steering wheel cover;
Figure 21 is a perspective view of a double bar lock configured for use with the metal steering wheel cover of Figure 18 showing a single bar separated from the assembly and positioned for attachment thereto;
Figure 22 is a perspective view of the double bar lock of Figure 21 showing the single bar attached to the assembly, wherein the outer bar thereof comprises a bend; Figure 23 is a perspective view of a double bar assembly of Figure 21 wherein the outer bar thereof is formed at an angle to the inner bar; Figure 24 is a cross-sectional side view of a steering wheel and the cover of Figure 18 showing the double bar lock of Figure 23 inserted through the cover so as to lock the cover to the steering wheel; Figure 25 is a perspective view of an adjustable single bar lock showing the single bar separated from the cover mounted lock assembly thereof and positioned for insertion therethrough;
Figure 26 is a perspective view of the single bar and lock assembly of Figure 25 showing the single bar lock inserted through the lock assembly;
Figure 27 is a perspective view of an adjustable double bar lock separated from and positioned for insertion through a lock assembly; Figure 28 is a cross-sectional side view of a steering wheel and the metal cover of Figure 18 showing the adjustable single bar lock of Figure 25 inserted through the cover so as to lock the cover upon the steering wheel; and Figure 29 is a side view of a steering wheel in which the spokes thereof radiate downward, showing the single lock bar of Figure 25 locking the cover thereon and also showing the optional attachment of a second bar thereto.
Detailed Description of the Invention
The detailed description set forth below in connection with the appended drawings is intended as a description of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention, and is not intended to represent the only forms in which the present invention may be constructed or utilized. The description sets forth the functions and sequence of steps for constructing and operating the invention in connection with the illustrated embodiments. It is to be understood, however, that the same or equivalent functions and sequences may be accomplished by different embodiments that are also intended to be encompassed within the spirit and scope of the invention. The anti-theft device for automobiles and airbags of the present invention is illustrated in Figures 1-29 which depict nine presently preferred embodiments of the invention.
The first, second, third, and fourth embodiments of the present invention are configured such that they generally completely enclose the steering wheel, while the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth embodiments of the present invention are configured such that they only partially enclose the steering wheel. As those skilled in the art will appreciate, completely enclosing the steering wheel provides a greater degree of security, while partially enclosing the steering wheel reduces the size, weight, and cost of the anti-theft device. The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth embodiments of the present invention represent an attempt to optimize the balance between security, weight, size, and cost of the device.
Referring now to Figures 1 and 2, the first embodiment is comprised generally of a semicircular first cover section 1 and a semicircular second cover section 2 which is configured so as to be nested or disposable within the first cover section 1. The second cover section is pivotally attached to the first cover section 1 via pivot pin 4 such that the second cover section 2 has a stowed position substantially within the first cover section 1 and also has a deployed position wherein a complete circle is defined by the first 1 and second 2 cover sections so as to substantially enclose a steering wheel 50 therein.
Each of the first 1 and second 2 cover sections comprises a downturned lip 3 which extends about the entire periphery of the first 1 and second 2 cover sections and which is configured so as to extend a sufficient distance around the rim of a steering wheel 50 so as to secure the present invention to the steering wheel. The lip preferably extends at least approximately 120 degrees, preferably 180 degrees, downwardly and around the rim of the steering wheel 50 so as to both lock the device to the steering wheel 50 and also substantially limit access to the steering wheel 50. Thus, the present invention cannot be removed from the steering wheel 50 by merely cutting the rim of the steering wheel 50 as with prior art devices. A bar 12 is preferably pivotally disposed upon said first cover section 1 such that the bar 12 has a stowed position (as shown in solid lines in Figure 1) in laminar juxtaposition to the first cover section 1 and has an extended position (as shown in solid lines in Figure 2). The bar 12 is releasably held in the stowed position via at least one detent 5. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various different means for releasably maintaining the bar 12 in the stowed position are likewise suitable. The bar 12 preferably comprises a slot 11 which extends transversely therethrough along the length thereof. A pin 70, best shown in Figure 2, is formed to the first cover section 1 and extends through the slot 11 formed within the locking bar 12 so as to both allow the locking bar 12 to pivot thereabout and also to allow the locking bar 12 to slide downward through first 6 and second 8 holes formed in the first cover section 1, as well as first hole 7 formed in the second cover section 2 when the second cover section 2 is in the deployed position thereof.
A lock 20 is mounted to the second cover section 2 and comprises a plunger 72 which extends through the hole 74 in the first cover section 1 so as to lock the second cover 2 in the deployed position thereof. The plunger 72 preferably comprises a keyway such that inserting a key therein and rotating the key allows the plunger to be depressed so as to facilitate movement of the second cover section 2 to the stowed position thereof.
With particular reference to Figure 2, the lock 20 both secures the second cover section 2 in the deployed position thereof and secures the bar 12 in the deployed position thereof. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various different mechanical and/or electrical locking devices are suitable for use in the present invention. Thus, to utilize the present invention, the second cover section 2 is placed in the stowed position thereof and the device is inserted over a steering wheel 50 so as to cover approximately one-half thereof. The second cover section 2 is then rotated out of the stowed position to the deployed position thereof such that the aperture 6 formed in the first cover section 1 aligns with the aperture 7 formed in the second cover section 2. The plunger 72 of lock 20 extends into hole 74 so as to lock the second cover section 2 in the deployed position thereof. The distal end of the bar 12 is then lifted so as to rotate the bar 12 about the pin 70 and the bar 12 is then slid through holes 6 and 8 formed in the first cover 1 and hole 7 formed in the second cover 2. The lock 20 is configured so as to both secure the first 1 and second 2 covers upon the steering wheel and to maintain the bar 12 in the extended osition thereof. Thus, the lock 20 must be unlocked in order to facilitate removal of the device from the steering wheel 50.
Optionally, an alarm 31 may be disposed within the first 1 and/or second 2 covers and configured so as to sound if an attempt is made to remove the present invention from the steering wheel 50 without first unlocking the lock 20.
The downturned lip 3 is formed about the entire periphery of each of the first 1 and second 2 cover sections and it extends, i.e., curves downwardly and inwardly, at least 120 degrees, preferably approximately 180 degrees as shown by angle A in Figure 3, which is exemplary of each embodiment of the present invention.
Referring now to Figures 3 and 4, the second embodiment of the present invention generally comprises a generally semicircular first cover section 1 and a generally semicircular second cover section 2 hingedly attached to the first cover section 1 such that the second cover section 2 has an open position (as illustrated in Figure 3) wherein the second cover section 2 is sufficiently separated from the first cover section
1 so as to allow the steering wheel to be received within the first cover section 1, and also has a closed position such that the first and second cover sections generally define a circle within which the steering wheel is capturable.
Preferably, the first cover section 1 is configured so as to be partially received within the second cover section 2. Thus, a small amount of overlap, approximately 1/2 inch for example, exists between the first 1 and second 2 cover sections so as to prevent the introduction of any tool therebetween by a thief.
As in the first embodiment of the present invention, a bar 12 is pivotable about a pivot pin 70 and is capable of sliding through a hole 6 formed in the upper surface of the second cover section 2, a hole 8 in the lower surface of the second cover section 2, and a hole 7 in the upper surface of the first cover section 1 so as to extend from the steering wheel cover and thereby inhibit turning thereof. This clamshell-type of construction of the second embodiment of the present invention is utilized by merely opening the first 1 and second 2 cover sections about the hinge which interconnects them to one another and then closing the first 1 and second 2 cover sections about a steering wheel 50 such that the steering wheel is trapped therein. The bar 12 is deployed as in the first embodiment of the present invention. As in the first embodiment of the present invention, a lock 20 locks the first 1 and second 2 cover sections together, i.e., in the closed position thereof, and also locks the bar 12 in the deployed position thereof. Referring now to Figures 5 and 6, a third embodiment of the present invention generally comprises a generally semicircular first cover section 1 and a generally semicircular second cover section 2 removably attachable to the first cover section. Posts 51 and 52 formed upon the second cover section 2 are received within corresponding apertures 81 and 82 formed upon the first cover section 1. Posts 51 and 52 maintain the correct orientation of the first 1 and second 2 cover sections with respect to one another when the device is installed upon a steering wheel 50. Locking post 83 is received within corresponding locking post aperture 84 so as to lock the first 1 and second 2 cover sections to one another. Lock 20 locks the locking post 83 into the locking post aperture 84. In the third embodiment of the present invention, a separate lock 23 is preferably utilized to lock the bar 12 thereof in the extended position. Otherwise, the bar 12 is generally similar to that of the first and second embodiments of the present invention. Optional rollers 25 are disposed about the periphery of each of the first 1 and second 2 cover sections such that the rollers 25 contact the outer periphery of the rim of the steering wheel 50 so as to facilitate turning of the first 1 and second 2 cover sections while the steering wheel 50 itself remains substantially stationary. Thus, rollers 25 further increase the difficulty of maintaining control of the steering wheel 50 after the first 1 and second 2 cover sections have been installed thereover. Referring now to Figures 1 , 8, and 10, a fourth embodiment of the present invention generally comprises a wedge-shaped first section 1 and a plurality of nested, generally wedge-shaped second cover sections 57 pivotally attached to the first cover section 1 and movable between a stowed position generally within the first cover section 1 and a deployed position juxtaposed to the first cover section 1 such that the first cover section 1 and the second cover sections 57 generally define a circular housing within which the steering wheel is capturable. As such, the fourth embodiment of the present invention generally resembles the first embodiment thereof, except that rather than defining a semicircle, the first cover section 1 defines a wedge-shaped or pie-shaped section within which a plurality of second similarly shaped cover sections 57 are stored.
The plurality of second cover sections 57 fan or telescope from the first cover section 1 about a pivot pin 4 to define a circle. As each second cover section 57 is extended from the first cover section 1, a tab or pawl formed thereon engages a portion of the next second cover section 57 to be extended and thereby pulls the next cover section 57 from the first cover section. The bar 12 and the lock 22 operate in a manner analogous to that of the first embodiment of the present invention.
Referring now to Figure 9, in an alternative configuration of the first and/or second cover section of any embodiment of the present invention, a separate compartment 90 is formed therein so as to contain an alarm 31 which is activated by an attempt to remove the present invention from a steering wheel without the lock 22 being unlocked. The alarm preferably comprises means for sounding at sufficient intensity, e.g., approximately 105 dB, to discourage a would-be thief from remaining within the car.
The first and second cover sections of each embodiment of the present invention are preferably comprised of a durable metal, such as steel or aluminum. Alternatively, the first and second cover sections may be formed of a durable, preferably substantially rigid. polymer material, such as ABS. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various other durable and rigid materials are likewise suitable.
Referring now to Figures 11 and 12, a fifth embodiment of the anti-theft device of the present invention generally comprises a cover 101 generally configured to define a semicircle and having a downturned lip 102 formed about the periphery thereof so as to capture a peripheral portion of a steering wheel therein. A first aperture 103 is formed in the upper surface 104 of the cover and a second aperture 105 is formed in the lower surface 106 defined by the downturned lip 102. A bar 107 is insertible through the first 103 and second 105 apertures so as to capture a peripheral portion 108 of a steering wheel 109 intermediate the bar 107 and the cover 101, as shown in Figure 12.
Thus, by inserting the cover 101 over a portion of the steering wheel 109 and then inserting the bar 107 through the first 103 and second 105 apertures formed in the cover 101, the fifth embodiment of the anti-theft device of the present invention is attached to the steering wheel in a manner which substantially covers the hub 110 of the steering wheel so as to inhibit theft of the airbag thereof. The bar 107 preferably extends a sufficient distance past the steering wheel 109 so as to engage other parts of the automobile if an attempt is made to steer the automobile. Thus, use of the use of the steering wheel is inhibited.
A lock 111 prevents unauthorized removal of the cover 101 from the steering wheel 109 by locking the bar 107 in place through the cover 101.
Referring now to Figure 13, a sixth embodiment of the anti-theft device of the present invention comprises a cover configured to define a semicircle similar to that of a fifth embodiment thereof. According to the sixth embodiment of the present invention, an aperture 120 is for ed in the upper surface 121 of the cover 101 for receiving a bar such as that shown in Figures 11 and 12.
The cover 101 further comprises a downturned lip 102 similar to that illustrated in Figure 11. However, as those skilled in the art will appreciate, the downturned lip 102 of the sixth embodiment of the present invention does not extend sufficiently inward such that a corresponding aperture may be formed in the lower surface 106, as in the fifth embodiment of the present invention. Thus, only one aperture 120 is formed in the cover 101 for receiving the bar 107. In order to provide sufficient structural strength, an area of increased thickness 122 is formed about the aperture 120 so as to firmly and securely facilitate insertion of the bar 107 through the aperture 120 in a manner which prevents undesirable movement of the bar 107 by deforming the cover 101. A lock is formed in this reinforced area so as to lock the bar 107 in the aperture 120 in a manner analogous to that illustrated in Figure 12. Thus, when the bar 107 is inserted through the aperture 120, then the hub 110 and a peripheral portion 108 of the steering wheel 109 is captured intermediate the bar and the cover 101. The cover 101 cannot be removed unless the lock is unlocked and the bar 107 removed from the aperture 120. Referring now to Figure 14, an eighth embodiment of the anti-theft device of the present invention generally comprises a cover 141 generally configured as a wedge having a downturned lip in the fashion of the fifth embodiment of the present invention. A retaining member 142 is pivotally attached to the cover 141 via pivot pin 143 which extends through both the cover 141 and retaining member 142. Thus, the retaining member 142 can pivot relative to the cover 141, between an unlocked position wherein the retaining member 142 forms an angle of approximately 90 degrees relative to the cover 141 and a locked position wherein the cover 141 and retaining member 142 are approximately co-linear. An aperture 144 is formed in the retaining member 142 and a corresponding aperture is formed within the cover 141 such that a bar may be inserted therethrough in a fashion similar to that of the fifth embodiment of the present invention so as to capture a peripheral portion 108 of the steering wheel 109 between the bar and the cover 108. A lock locks the bar in place in a fashion to that of the fifth embodiment of the present invention.
Referring now to Figure 15, a seventh embodiment of the anti-theft device of the present invention generally comprises a housing 151 and a retaining member 152 pivotally attached thereto. The retaining member 152 has an aperture formed therein and a corresponding aperture is formed in the cover 151. Preferably, two apertures are formed in the cover 151 and co-aligned with one another. The first aperture is formed in the upper surface of the cover 151 and the second aperture is formed in the lower surface 154 thereof in a manner similar to that of the fifth embodiment of the present invention.
The retaining member 152 is preferably pivotally attached to the cover 151 via a bar such as that utilized in the fifth embodiment of the present invention. The bar thus extends through the cover 151 a sufficient distance such that it interferes with the use of the steering wheel, as explained in detail above.
Any of the embodiments of the present invention may alternatively comprise one or more hooks 155 configured to wrap around and capture a portion of the periphery of a steering wheel in a fashion similar to that of the down- turned lip of the fifth embodiment of the present invention, but also configured so as to avoid interference with the spokes of a steering wheel, as discussed below. Referring now to Figure 17, such hooks are particularly useful when the anti-theft device of the present invention is being utilized upon a steering wheel having spokes 160 which extend away from the periphery 108 of the steering wheel 109 and toward the steering wheel column 162 in a manner which would otherwise interfere with installation of the anti-theft device. This occurs when the spokes extend substantially forward, rather than just radially inward (as shown in Figure 16). Mercedes Benz and BMW are two examples of cars which require the use of hooks or cutouts.
Referring now to Figure 16, an anti-theft device of the present invention utilizing a downturned lip is easy to fit upon a standard steering wheel 109 wherein the spokes are configured to radiate inwardly toward the hub thereof, such that they do not interfere with such installation. It will be appreciated that a hook is essentially just a short section of downturned lip, and thus the two terms are equivalent for the housing 141 and retainer member 142 of Figure 14, as well as for the retainer member 152 of Figure 15. Referring now to Figures 18-20, a ninth embodiment of the anti-theft device of the present invention and a canvass covering therefore are shown. The ninth embodiment of the present invention comprises a metal steering wheel cover 200 configured generally as a semi circle and, like the other embodiments of the present invention, preferably formed of a durable metal or polymer material. A lip 202 extends from the cover 200 so as to at least partially encircle at least a portion of the steering wheel when installed thereupon. A tab 204 is formed along the lip 202 and an aperture 208 is formed in the tab 204. A strengthening rib 206 is formed in the tab 204 so as to inhibit bending thereof. Another aperture 209 (as shown in Figure 19), is co-aligned with the aperture 208 and is formed in the cover 200 such that a locking bar may be inserted through both the cover and the tab 204 so as to lock the cover 200 upon a steering wheel. Optionally, a strengthening rib 207 is formed in the cover 200 to inhibit bending thereof.
Optionally, a loop 210, preferably formed of the same material as the cover 200, is formed thereto proximate the co-aligned apertures 208 and 209 such that the outer leg of a double locking bar may be inserted therethrough, as discussed below.
The canvass covering comprises a generally circular portion 250 having an elastic band 252 attached at the ends thereof proximate the periphery of the generally circular body 250 at the lower end thereof. The canvass covering further comprises a canvass lip 254 which generally covers the lip 202 of the metal cover 200. The canvas lip 254 comprises a fold 256 which folds under the metal lip 202 of the metal cover 200 so as to maintain the canvass covering in place. An opening 258 is formed in the lip 254 of the canvass covering and a similar opening 264 is formed in a co-aligned fashion to opening
258, so as to allow the lock bar to pass through the metal cover 200 with the canvass covering installed thereon. A canvass handle 260 facilitates carrying the covered metal cover 200.
Preferably, a sleeve 262 is formed to the canvass covering and has an opening 266 formed in one end thereof for receiving the lock bar (such as 406 of Figure 26).
Thus, the lock bar may be conveniently carried along with the metal cover 200.
The covering 250 is formed of a substantially planar flexible material such as fabric, plastic, vinyl, or leather. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that various other materials are suitable for use in forming the flexible covering for the cover 200.
With particular reference to Figure 20, the lower portion of the canvass covering is wrapped around the metal cover 200, thereby substantially enclosing the metal cover 200. The elastic strap 252 is then placed around the upper portion of the elastic cover so as to hold the lower portion thereof in place.
Thus, in use, the ninth embodiment of the present invention is placed upon a steering wheel by first pulling the elastic strap from around the cover 200 so as to allow the lower portion of the canvass cover to extend into a full circular shape, as shown in Figure 19. The metal cover is then inserted over the steering wheel such that a portion of the steering wheel is received within the lip 202 of the metal cover 200. A single or double lock bar is installed, as shown in Figures 24, 28, and/or
29, so as to prevent unauthorized removal of the cover
200 from the steering wheel. The lower portion of the fabric cover 250 is preferably extended so as to cover substantially the entire upper surface of the steering wheel, so as to prevent the sun from shining directly upon either the metal steering wheel cover 200 or the steering wheel itself. Thus, the canvass cover keeps substantially the entire steering wheel cool during hot summer days, by shading the sun therefrom.
As with the other embodiments of the present invention, an alarm is optionally provided so as to sound if an attempt is made to remove the cover from the steering wheel without first unlocking the lock. Referring now to Figures 21-23, the double bar lock is shown. With particular reference to Figure 21, the double bar lock 300 comprises a single bar lock 302 which is joined with a separate bar assembly comprising a body 312 and a second or outboard bar 316. The double bar lock 300 is configured such that in use the bar 308 of the single bar portion 302 extends through the two openings 208 and 209 formed in the cover 200 so as to lock the cover to a steering wheel. The outboard bar 316 is received within the loop 210, if utilized. The double bar lock further comprises an opening 314 formed within the body 312 so as to receive the single bar portion 302 thereof. The opening 318 preferably comprises a flat 318 which is configured to abut a corresponding flat 307 formed upon the single bar portion
302 so as to prevent turning of the single bar portion
302 within the body 312. The single bar portion preferably comprises a tapered end 310 so as to facilitate easy insertion through the two apertures 208 and 209 formed within the cover 200. The flat 307 is formed upon lock cylinder 306 which contains the mechanical components of the lock which is actuated via key 305 so as to cause lock pin 304 to extend and withdraw from the lock cylinder 306.
Thus, the locking bar is installed within the cover
200 by first causing the locking pin 304 to withdraw into the lock cylinder 306 by utilizing the key 305. The lock bar 308 and lock cylinder 306 are then inserted through the openings 209 and 208 formed in the cover 200, which is installed upon a steering wheel. The elongate portion
308 of the lock bar extends through the openings 208 and
209 formed in the cover 200 so as to capture a portion of the steering wheel between the lock bar and the cover
200. The key is then turned so as to cause the locking pin 304 to extend from the lock cylinder 306, so as to prevent unauthorized removal of the lock bar 300 from the cover 200. With particular reference to Figure 22, the outboard lock bar 216 optionally comprises a bend 320 formed therein, proximate the distal end thereof.
With particular reference to Figure 23, alternatively, the outboard lock bar 316 is formed at an angle to the inboard lock bar 308.
By forming a bend 320 in the outboard lock bar 316 or by forming the outboard lock bar 316 at an angle to the inboard lock bar 308, the outboard lock bar 316 is caused to extend further from the steering wheel, such that it may more readily interfere or strike nearby objects, i.e., dashboard, turn signal lever, or gear shift. The end of the outboard lock bar 316 comprises a taper 322 so as to facilitate its easy insertion through loop 210 formed to the cover 200.
Referring now to Figure 24, a double lock bar 300 is shown installed to a cover 200 which is itself installed upon a steering wheel 50. The cover 200 covers the center of the steering wheel, thereby inhibiting theft of the airbag 60 contained therein. The single lock bar portion of the double lock bar 300 is inserted through the aperture 209 formed in the cover 200 and the aperture 208 formed in the lip 202 such that it captures a portion of the steering wheel 50 between itself and the cover 200, so as to prevent unauthorized removal of the cover 200 from the steering wheel 50. Both the inboard lock bar 308 and the outboard lock bar 316 are configured such that they will strike various portions of the automobile, e.g., the turn signal lever, the gear shift lever, and/or the dashboard, if an attempt is made to turn the steering wheel. Referring now to Figures 25-27, the lock bar(s) are optionally configured so as to facilitate adjustment of the length thereof which extends below the steering wheel. With particular reference to Figures 25 and 26, an adjustable single lock bar 406 comprises a tapered end 405 configured to facilitate insertion through an aperture 404 formed in a lock body 400 which is permanently attached to the cover 200, via welding, fasteners, etc. A lock 402 facilitates locking the lock bar 406 at various positions along the length thereof, so as to allow different lengths thereof to extend below the steering wheel. The lock 402 functions by causing a pin or the like to extend into the aperture 404 so as to catch one of the first 407, second 409, or third 410 grooves formed in the first lock bar 406. Each groove 407 comprises a flat 412 and a taper 414 such that the lock bar 406 may be inserted further through the opening 404 formed in the lock body 400 without use of the key and such that the key is required to withdraw the lock bar 406 from the lock body 400. Thus, the lock bar 406 may be installed through the cover 200 and may also be cause to extend the desired distance below the cover without the use of a key. A key is required in order to remove the lock bar 406 from the cover 200, so as to facilitate removal of the cover 200 from the steering wheel.
With particular reference to Figure 27, a second or outboard lock bar 403 may optionally be formed to the first or inboard lock bar via first bend 432. Second bend 433 is optionally formed in the outboard lock bar 430 so as to define an outwardly extending distal region 435 thereof. A taper 436 is preferably formed at the distal end of the outboard lock bar 430.
Referring now to Figure 28, an adjustable single lock bar is shown inserted through cover 200. As shown, the adjustable single lock bar 406 is fully inserted through the cover 200 so as to cause the maximum length thereof to extend below the steering wheel. Note that the lock body 400 is attached to the cover 200 via welds 401.
Referring now to Figure 29, an adjustable single lock bar 406 is shown attached to a cover 108 and an optional outboard lock bar 430 is shown attached thereto.
The anti-theft device of the present invention may be configured to be utilized with conventional steering wheels, as illustrated in Figure 28 or may also be utilized with those steering wheels wherein the spokes thereof extend downward from the steering wheel at an angle with respect to the plane thereof as shown in
Figure 29.
Optionally, the alarm can be configured so as to sound if a car window is broken, as well as if an attempt is made to remove the cover from the steering wheel without first unlocking the cover. Indeed, as those skilled in the art will appreciate, the alarm may sound in response to various different sensors such as acoustic, vibration, current, voltage, etc. Thus, various different sensors and switches may be utilized to cause the alarm to sound. It is understood that the exemplary anti-theft device for automobiles and airbags described herein and shown in the drawings represents only presently preferred embodiments of the invention. Indeed, various modifications and additions may be made to such embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the first and second covers may be formed in a variety of different shapes, other than so as to define a circle. Additionally, those skilled in the art will recognize that the lower surface of each cover section may be formed so as to extend as close to the hub of the steering wheel as desirable, thereby further limiting access to the steering wheel. Thus, these and other modifications and additions may be obvious to those skilled in the art and may be implemented to adapt the present invention for use in a variety of different applications.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. A device for deterring theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag and an automobile, said device comprising: a) a cover configured to conceal at least a portion of a steering wheel so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel, said cover hooking around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel; b) a retainer member having unlocked and locked positions thereof, said retainer member allowing attachment of the cover to the steering wheel and removal of the cover therefrom when in the unlocked position and inhibiting removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position; and c) a lock for locking said retainer member in the locked position thereof.
2. The device as recited in Claim 1 wherein said cover is configured to generally define a semicircle.
3. The device as recited in Claim 1 wherein said retainer member comprises a bar which extends through said cover to capture a portion of the steering wheel between said cover and said bar.
4. The device as recited in Claim 3 wherein said retainer member is configured to capture a peripheral portion of the steering wheel between said cover and said bar.
5. The device as recited in Claim 3 wherein said retainer member is configured to capture the hub and a peripheral portion of the steering wheel between said cover and said bar.
6. The device as recited in Claim 1 wherein: a) said cover comprises a generally semi- circular cover; and b) further comprising a bar attachable to said cover so as to inhibit removal of the cover from the steering wheel and so as to inhibit rotation of said steering wheel.
7. The device as recited in Claim 1 wherein said retainer member is configured to generally define a wedge, said wedge hooking around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel.
8. The device as recited in Claim 1 wherein said cover is configured to generally define a wedge.
9. The device as recited in Claim 1 wherein said cover comprises a lip which hooks around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel, said lip being generally continuous about a periphery of said cover.
10. The device as recited in Claim 1 wherein said cover comprises at least one hook which hooks around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel.
11. The device as recited in Claim 1 further comprising an alarm configured to sound when at least one of the following occurs: a) an attempt is made to remove said cover while said retainer member is in the locked position thereof; and b) a window of the vehicle is broken.
12. A device for deterring theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag and an automobile, said device comprising: a) a cover generally configured as a semi¬ circle for covering approximately one-half of the steering wheel so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel, said cover comprising a downturned lip for hooking around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel; b) a bar having unlocked and locked positions thereof, said bar allowing attachment of the cover to the steering wheel and removal of said cover therefrom when in the unlocked position thereof, and inhibiting removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position thereof, in the locked position thereof, said bar being extendable through said cover so as to capture a peripheral portion of the steering wheel between said cover and said bar to inhibit removal of said cover from the steering wheel; and c) a lock for locking said bar in the locked position thereof.
13. A device for deterring theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag and an automobile, said device comprising: a) a cover generally configured as a semi¬ circle for covering approximately one-half of the steering wheel so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel, said cover comprising a downturned lip for hooking around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel; b) a bar having unlocked and locked positions thereof, said bar allowing attachment of the cover to the steering wheel and removal of said cover therefrom when in the unlocked position thereof, and inhibiting removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position thereof, in the locked position thereof, said bar being extendable through said cover so as to capture the hub and a peripheral portion of the steering wheel between said cover and said bar to prevent removal of said cover from the steering wheel; and c) a lock for locking said bar in the locked position thereof.
14. A device for deterring theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag and an automobile, said device comprising: a) a cover generally configured as a semi¬ circle for covering approximately one-half of the steering wheel so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel, said cover comprising a downturned lip for hooking around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel; b) a retainer member having a hook formed thereto pivotally attached to said cover, said retainer member having an unlocked and locked positions thereof, said retainer member allowing attachment of said cover to the steering wheel and removal of said cover therefrom when in the unlocked position thereof and inhibiting removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the unlocked position thereof and inhibiting removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position thereof, in the locked position said hook capturing the steering wheel between said retainer member and said cover; and c) a lock for locking said retainer member in the locked position thereof.
15. A device for deterring theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag and an automobile, said device comprising: a) a cover generally configured as a first wedge for covering a portion of the steering wheel so as to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within the steering wheel, said cover comprising a downturned lip for hooking around a peripheral portion of the steering wheel; b) a retainer member configured as a second wedge, said retainer member having unlocked and locked positions thereof said retainer member allowing attachment of the cover to the steering wheel and removal of the cover therefrom when in the unlocked position thereof and inhibiting removal of the cover from the steering wheel when in the locked position thereof, in the locked position thereof, said retainer member capturing the steering wheel between said retainer member and said cover; and c) a lock for locking said retainer member in the locked position thereof.
16. A device for deterring theft of a steering wheel mounted airbag and an automobile, said device comprising: a) a cover configured to inhibit access to an airbag mounted within said steering wheel and to inhibit use of said steering wheel, said cover comprising a front surface which substantially covers a portion of the steering wheel and a rear surface defined by a lip extending from said front surface, said lip at least partially encircling at least a portion of said steering wheel, said front surface having a first opening formed therein and said rear surface having a second opening formed therein; b) a first bar positionable within said first and second openings, so as to capture a portion of the steering wheel between the front surface of said cover, the lip of said cover, and said first bar; c) a lock for locking the first bar within said first and second openings so as to inhibit unauthorized removal of said cover from the steering wheel; and d) wherein said cover deters theft of the airbag by inhibiting access thereto and deters theft of the automobile by inhibiting use of the steering wheel.
17. The device as recited in Claim 16 wherein said first bar is configured to inhibit rotation of the steering wheel when said first bar is disposed within said first and second openings.
18. The device as recited in Claim 16 wherein said first bar extends downward a sufficient distance to inhibit rotation of the steering wheel.
19. The device as recited in Claim 16 further comprising a second bar formed to said first bar and extending in generally the same direction as said first bar.
20. The device as recited in Claim 19 wherein said second bar comprises a bend formed therein such that a distal end of said second bar is bent away from said first bar.
21. The device as recited in Claim 19 wherein said second bar is formed so as to angle away from said first bar.
22. The device as recited in Claim 16 wherein said first bar is configured such that a variable, user selected length thereof is extendable below said steering wheel.
23. The device as recited in Claim 19 wherein said first and second lock bars are configured such that variable, user selected lengths thereof are extendable below said steering wheel.
24. The device as recited in Claim 16 further comprising a flexible covering which covers a substantial portion of said cover.
25. The device as recited in Claim 24 wherein: a) said cover is configured to generally define a semicircle; b) said flexible covering is configured to generally define a circle; and c) wherein said flexible covering substantially covers one side of said cover when not folded and is foldable to substantially cover both sides of said cover.
26. The device as recited in Claim 16 further comprising an alarm configured to sound when at least one of the following occurs: a) an attempt is made to remove the cover from the steering wheel without unlocking said lock; and b) a window of the vehicle is broken.
27. The device as recited in Claim 24 wherein said flexible covering is comprised of a material selected from the group consisting of: a) fabric; b) plastic; c) vinyl; and d) leather.
PCT/US1995/016500 1994-12-23 1995-12-19 Anti-theft device for automobiles and airbags WO1996020099A1 (en)

Priority Applications (6)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
KR1019940036457A KR960021974A (en) 1994-12-23 1994-12-23 Anti-theft device for car and airbag
KR94/36457 1994-12-23
US08/377,751 1995-01-25
US08/377,751 US5540067A (en) 1995-01-25 1995-01-25 Anti-theft device for automobiles and airbags
US51020295A true 1995-08-02 1995-08-02
US08/510,202 1995-08-02

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU46018/96A AU4601896A (en) 1994-12-23 1995-12-19 Anti-theft device for automobiles and airbags

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO1996020099A1 true WO1996020099A1 (en) 1996-07-04

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ID=27349133

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
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AU (1) AU4601896A (en)
WO (1) WO1996020099A1 (en)

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WO2000000371A1 (en) * 1998-06-26 2000-01-06 Joseph Mellini Antitheft device capable of being fixed on a motor vehicle steering wheel gear
EP0989037A1 (en) * 1998-07-28 2000-03-29 Cosimo Lenoci Vehicle anti-theft device in the form of a steering wheel cover adaptable to a steering wheel with play
GB2352217A (en) * 1999-07-22 2001-01-24 Mark Hambley Vehicle steering wheel security device
EP1394005A1 (en) * 2002-08-30 2004-03-03 Alan David Somerfield Vehicle anti-theft device
USD860401S1 (en) 2016-08-25 2019-09-17 Brady Worldwide, Inc. Valve lockout

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