E-latch with Safety Bonus and Weight Advantage

Back in 1995, we presented the first E-latch studies at the International Automobile Exhibit (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. Since then, we have become a worldwide leader in further development of this technology. Today, an E-latch meets the premium demands of vehicle manufacturers and drivers worldwide.

The E-latch affords the driver a special experience at first contact with the vehicle. The electrical activation of the latch allows the required manual activation force for opening the latch to be reduced to a pleasant minimum regardless of the door sealing counter pressure. This provides optimum comfort in terms of the tactile feel.

The E-latch is also top-ranking in terms of safety. The electrical control makes it possible to request the crash signal before opening and to react appropriately in the case of an accident. The latch is locked mechanically and, therefore, is 100% crash safe. Equipped with a temporary, mechanical redundancy, the E-latch ensures safe opening of the latch even in cases of power outages via a downstream, mechanical actuation chain.

The electrical control of the functions allows mechanical components of conventional door systems, such as Bowden cables, to be reduced because they are required only in cases of emergency or power outages. Normally two motors are required for the electrical functions. Temporary use of the Kiekert eO (electric opening) motor for central locking saves on one motor with the Kiekert latch. The resultant benefits for the vehicle manufacturer are obvious: Smaller package, lower weight and a cost savings.

The E-latch does not just reduce the required activation force for opening the door. Our innovative idea offers the vehicle manufacturer more freedom in door design due to complete equalization of mechanical manual activation. The spectrum of possibilities ranges from the visually appealing integration of the handle into the door to completely omitting the handle. At the same time, we offer a multitude of solutions for intuitively operated and mechanical redundancies that ensure the latch and the door open in an emergency or power outage.

The optional electric anti-theft protection and the electric child safety round out the latch profile. In functional comparison to purely mechanical latch solutions, the E-latch with temporary mechanical redundancy is a cost-optimized and safe solution on the path toward using an E-latch only.