Burscheid, Germany -- Automotive interior supplier Johnson Controls has developed a novel seating system for new Vauxhall Meriva which has "perfect ergonomics and numerous, simple adjustment options," the company claims.
These aspects played a key role in the compact Meriva gaining a seal of approval from the German Aktion Gesunder Rücken Association (Campaign for Healthier Backs, known as AGR).
"The fact that the new Vauxhall Meriva has received the landmark AGR certification for its well-conceived ergonomic system 'ErgoFlex,' thanks to the flexible as well as ergonomically perfect design of our front and rear seats, is further proof of our engineering ingenuity," said Dr Detlef Juerss, vice president of engineering seating, interiors & systems Europe at Johnson Controls Automotive Experience, in a company statement.
Johnson Controls says AGR is a well known institution, specialising in understanding the causes of, and how to prevent, back pain and spinal damage and it awards its seal of approval to products that are particularly back-friendly.
The time and effort Johnson Controls spends on designing a high-quality, ergonomically perfect seating system with its customers can be measured in concrete terms: the company said development of the seating system represents "about a tenth of the total value of the vehicle and nowadays often costs more than the powertrain."
"We at Johnson Controls are renowned for our expertise in automotive seating systems and convinced that investments made in this area are more than justified for the purpose of achieving the best possible ergonomics," emphasised Jürss.
Studies in Europe indicate that up to 70 percent of the population suffers from back pain, most often caused by sitting for an extended period of time, giving Johnson Controls more incentive "apply our proven expertise in designing more ergonomically sound, safer and more comfortable seats in developing new, pioneering vehicle concepts."
Johnson Controls' Vauxhall Meriva driver and front passenger seats are available as optional extras. The driver's seat features tilt adjustment, while both front seats offer 4-way adjustable electric lumbar support, an extendable thigh rest, as well as extra side support. The seats also offer a leading range of adjustments in this segment, at 240 mm length and 65 mm height, Juerss said "they allow passengers of all sizes and build to find the optimum sitting position."
Johnson Controls riACT head restraints are also an optional extra on the front seats, to minimise the risk of whiplash. These head restraints received the best score in Euro NCAP's (European New Car Assessment Program) simulated rear impact test for the Vauxhall Astra: with 3.74 out of a possible 4.00 points, the riACT head restraints achieved the highest rating ever given in this test, the company said.