Extendable flush door handle for vehicle

  • US 8,786,401 B2
  • Filed: 12/22/2010
  • Issued: 07/22/2014
  • Est. Priority Date: 12/23/2009
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A handle assembly for a door of a vehicle, said handle assembly comprising:

  • a base portion mounted at or incorporated into a structure of the door of the vehicle;

    a handle portion movable relative to said base portion, wherein said handle portion is movable between a recessed position, where said handle portion is at least partially recessed at said base portion so as to be not readily graspable by a user, and a partially extended position, where said handle portion extends partially outward from said base portion to be graspable by the user;

    wherein, when said handle portion is at said partially extended position, said handle portion is manually movable further outward from said base portion to open the door of the vehicle;

    a control operable to move said handle portion from said recessed position to said partially extended position responsive to a trigger;

    wherein said control operates a motor of an actuator of said handle assembly and wherein operation of said motor moves said handle portion between said recessed position and said partially extended position;

    wherein said control controls said actuator to move said handle portion from said recessed position to said partially extended position responsive to said trigger;

    wherein said actuator engages a guide element of said handle portion to move said guide element in a generally arcuate path to impart pivotal movement of said handle portion about a pivot pin that pivotally mounts said handle portion to said base portion;

    wherein said actuator comprises a clutch that provides a manual override that allows the user to manually move said handle portion relative to said base portion;

    wherein said clutch comprises a first gear element that is driven by said motor and a second gear element that is driven by said first gear element; and

    wherein, when said handle portion is moved toward said partially extended position via operation of said motor of said actuator and when said partially extended handle portion is manually urged toward said recessed position, said second gear element slips relative to said first gear element to allow said partially extended handle portion to be manually moved toward said recessed position.

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