News Releases

UMTRI Rollover Study, Sponsored by TRW Automotive, Suggests Electronic Stability Control Substantially Impacts Vehicle Handling

PRNewswire-FirstCall
LIVONIA, Mich.
Nov 10, 2004

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) technology has the potential to positively affect nearly one- half of sport utility vehicle (SUV) rollovers by helping to reduce the skidding or sliding caused by driver oversteer or understeer events (yaw instability). This is according to a recent study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and sponsored by TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW).

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010824/TRWLOGO )

The study found that yaw instability was the most frequent precursor event to a rollover -- a key factor in 48.5 percent of rollovers analyzed -- and that this situation could be addressed by ESC technology. In these loss-of- control situations, the vehicle may either rotate beyond the limit of surface adhesion (oversteer) -- causing the rear end of the vehicle to slide -- or to not rotate enough in a turning maneuver (understeer) -- causing the vehicle to deviate from the intended path.

ESC modulates braking and powertrain forces to help avoid these instances. It can assist the driver during these oversteer and understeer situations, as well as during other potentially dangerous maneuvers including panic braking when the vehicle's tires are on two different surfaces, such as a patch of ice and dry pavement (called a split mu).

ESC is also known as Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and under several trade names used by various vehicle manufacturers.

Other key findings of the UMTRI study include:

* Nearly 34 percent of rollovers began with a loss of vehicle control, 14.9 percent of rollovers were the result of a collision with another vehicle and approximately 13.8 percent were preceded by the vehicle running off the road while it was still stable.

* Of the rollover events that began with loss of vehicle control, 75 percent were on an icy, wet or snowy road surface.

* SUVs are almost three times more likely than passenger cars to roll over in single vehicle crashes and nearly seven times more likely to roll in multiple vehicle crashes.

* Driver age (less than 25 years old), consumption of alcohol and having more than three people in a vehicle lead to a higher probability of rollover for both passenger vehicles and SUVs.

TRW commissioned UMTRI to analyze and determine the events preceding a rollover. The safety supplier wanted to deepen the industry's understanding of the events and conditions that impacted SUV rollovers, so it could better identify the most efficient technologies to help reduce vehicle rollovers.

"Several other studies have looked at rollover crash data," said Peter J. Lake, executive vice president of Sales and Business Development for TRW Automotive. "However, none of them have looked at the pre-event conditions leading to the actual rollover. TRW is proud to be contributing to the growing body of research on automotive safety and is excited to share the depth of information we have gained with the automotive industry."

"According to this research, yaw instability events are the most frequent precursors to a vehicle roll ... and if these events can be effectively managed, the roll may be avoided," said Josef Pickenhahn, vice president of Braking Engineering, TRW Automotive. "The stability control systems that are currently available can have a measurable impact in the reduction of accidents in general, and in doing so can have a significant impact on the number of vehicle rollovers."

TRW's ESC technology -- which it calls VSC -- combines the capabilities of anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control with a lateral stability control feature. The system monitors the lateral stability of the vehicle and regulates both brake pressure and engine drive torque to assist in keeping the vehicle in a stable operating condition. The supplier's industry-leading system was designed to provide quieter and smoother performance than previous generations.

TRW currently supplies its ESC technology to eight automakers throughout the world on more than 16 platforms.

"As the industry learns more about how and why rollovers occur, the technology to mitigate these events will become more important," said Lake. "TRW is committed to providing our customers with the best safety solutions available. TRW's world-class ESC system, coupled with our innovative airbag technology -- including side airbag protection -- offers substantial passenger protection and confirms TRW's position as the leader in automotive safety."

About TRW

With 2003 sales of $11.3 billion, TRW Automotive ranks among the world's top 10 automotive suppliers. Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, USA, the Company, through its subsidiaries, employs approximately 61,000 people in 22 countries. TRW products include integrated vehicle control and driver assist systems, braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, occupant safety systems (seat belts and airbags), electronics, engine components, fastening systems and aftermarket replacement parts and services. All references to "TRW Automotive," "TRW" or the "Company" in this press release refer to TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise indicated. TRW Automotive news is available on the Internet at http://www.trwauto.com/ .

Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains statements that are not statements of historical fact, but instead are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made in this release. Such risks, uncertainties and other important factors which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements are set forth in the TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. final prospectus dated as of February 2, 2004 (the "Prospectus") filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4), our Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2003 (the "10K") and our Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 26, 2004, June 25, 2004, and September 24, 2004 include: our substantial leverage; the highly competitive automotive parts industry and its cyclicality; pricing pressures from our customers; increasing costs for purchased components and raw materials; non-performance by, or by insolvency of, our suppliers; product liability and warranty and recall claims; our dependence on our largest customers; limitations on flexibility in operating our business contained in our debt agreements; increases in interest rates; fluctuations in foreign exchange rates; the possibility that our owners' interests will conflict with ours; work stoppages or other labor issues and other risks and uncertainties set forth under "Risk Factors" in the Prospectus and the 10-K and in our other SEC filings. We do not intend or assume any obligation to update any of these forward-looking statements.

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20010824/TRWLOGO AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/ PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com SOURCE: TRW Automotive Holdings Corp.

CONTACT: Manley Ford of TRW Automotive, +1-734-855-2616, John Wilkerson of TRW Automotive/North America, +1-734-855-3864, or Lynette Jackson of TRW Automotive/Europe/Asia, +44-121-506-5315

Web site: http://www.trwauto.com/


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