TROY, Mich., April 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ArvinMeritor (NYSE: ARM)
and ZF announced today that the order issued on April 7 by the International
Trade Commission (ITC), based on a complaint by Eaton Corporation, is limited
to automated mechanical transmissions which infringe upon Claim 15 of the '279
patent. "Claim 15 pertains to a non-critical aspect of the transmission,
which is not integral to its operation," said Tom Gosnell, president of
Commercial Vehicle Systems for ArvinMeritor. "In anticipation of this
expected order -- based on the January decision -- ZF redesigned the
transmission software to comply with the ruling."
According to Wolfgang Vogel, executive vice president of Commercial
Vehicle and Special Driveline Technology for ZF Friedrichshafen AG, "This
minor redesign -- which has no effect on the functionality of the ZF-
FreedomLine(TM) transmission -- is in accordance with the ruling. We clearly
understand the ITC ruling and will not import, market or sell any products
that violate the ruling."
"We are pleased that the redesigned software will permit us to continue to
offer the ZF-FreedomLine in North America," said Dennis Kline, vice president
of Global Truck Sales for ArvinMeritor. The ZF-FreedomLine transmission is
the most advanced, automated manual transmission in North America, featuring
the first "no-clutch pedal" design, which makes it easier to learn and operate
than competing automated systems. ZF-FreedomLine provides significant fuel
economy and driver comfort benefits, and its innovative design is protected by
numerous patents worldwide.
"Furthermore," Gosnell continued, "Eaton's misleading statement with
regard to the ITC action is another attempt to eliminate ArvinMeritor as a
competitor in the North American transmission market. Despite Eaton's
attempts, we fully intend to remain a player and look forward to continuing to
meet our customers' needs for advanced transmission systems."
In another pending action initiated last August, ArvinMeritor filed a
patent infringement lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court against Eaton for
infringement of its patent covering torque prediction. The company believes
that this patent is infringed by every Eaton automated manual transmission.
ZF Friedrichshafen AG is a leading worldwide supplier of driveline and
chassis technology. Headquartered in Friedrichshafen, Germany, ZF is among
the 15 largest automotive suppliers in the world. The company has a total
workforce of 53,000 at 119 locations in 25 countries, and combined revenues
for the group totaled more than $10 billion in 2003. ZF operates a large
manufacturing network in North America, combined with global research and
development capabilities, to provide advanced technology to the region. The
ZF Group North American Operations Headquarters and Technical Center is
located in Northville, Mich., USA.
ArvinMeritor, Inc. is a premier $8 billion global supplier of a broad
range of integrated systems, modules and components to the motor vehicle
industry. The company serves light vehicle, commercial truck, trailer and
specialty original equipment manufacturers and related aftermarkets.
Headquartered in Troy, Mich., ArvinMeritor employs approximately 31,000 people
at more than 120 manufacturing facilities in 25 countries. ArvinMeritor
common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol
ARM. For more information, visit the company's Web site at:
SOURCE ArvinMeritor, Inc.
D. Mike Pennington
all of ArvinMeritor