Tenneco Automotive Inc. (ticker: TEN, exchange: New York Stock Exchange) News Release

December 22, 1999

 
INNOVATIVE IMPACT SENSOR TECHNOLOGY IN MONROE® REFLEX SHOCK ABSORBER DELIVERS ENHANCED VEHICLE RIDE CONTROL PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY

LAKE FOREST, ILL., December 22, 1999 - By combining an innovative valving design with the latest in leading-edge materials, the Reflex shock absorber from Monroe® provides every driver with advanced road-handling characteristics - and every family with an extra margin of safety on the highway.

At the heart of the new Reflex shock absorber is a new valving system that activates when a vehicle encounters a rough road surface and when the shock is compressed. Normally, the driver of a vehicle with firm shocks feels every bump in the road; ride quality and comfort are degraded by the constant vibration throughout the vehicle. But Monroe's Reflex with Impact Sensor Technology valving switches instantly from firm to soft damping when a bump is encountered. This change happens in 15 milliseconds when an impact or acceleration of 1.5g's is experienced. The more exposure to uneven road surfaces the more active the valve becomes - opening the moment a large bump is encountered and closing immediately after absorbing the impact, then returning the shock to its original calibration setting.

Extensive Testing
More than 10,000 man-hours and 500 prototypes were devoted to the two-year development of Reflex. In-house testing required both laboratory and field analysis to assure long product life and reliability. Reflex engineers impact tested the new valving at 2.5 meters/sec. for tens of thousands of cycles to simulate harsh road conditions, while high-speed bi-frequency tests over one million cycles validated product durability.

In tests conducted at the Ohio Transportation Research Center in Marysville, Ohio, a vehicle outfitted with Reflex shocks showed a 12 percent decrease in vehicle body roll during a J-turn maneuver, and an 18 percent reduction in vehicle pitch during ABS brake testing, when compared with a vehicle equipped with original equipment shock absorbers.

Incorporating New Materials
All Reflex shocks feature premium components and materials, including nitro-carbonized piston rods with micro-finished surfaces for smooth operation and positive sealing; a Fluon™-banded piston made with Teflon™ and glass-reinforced fibers to reduce sliding friction, increase product life and improve sealing; and nitrogen gas charging to 150 psi to reduce aeration and heat fade.

One of the important new features of the Monroe Reflex is that each shock has application-specific valving for the make and model of the vehicle it's installed on. And Reflex shocks offer easy, trouble-free installation and are designed to fit original mounting points.

The Monroe Reflex shock absorber will be available for late model light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) starting Nov. 1, 1999. Reflex products for late model passenger cars will be available starting June 1, 2000.

All Monroe® Reflex shocks feature premium components and materials, including nitro-carbonized piston rods with micro-finished surfaces for smooth operation and positive sealing; a Fluon™-banded piston made with Teflon™ and glass-reinforced fibers to reduce sliding friction, increase product life and improve sealing; and nitrogen gas charging to 150 psi to reduce aeration and heat fade.

Tenneco Automotive is one of the world's largest producers and marketers of ride control and emission control products and systems, which are sold under the global Monroe® and Walker® brand names. Among its products are Monroe® Sensa-Trac® shocks and struts, Rancho® shock absorbers, Walker® Quiet-Flow™ mufflers and DynoMax™ performance exhaust products, and Monroe® Clevite™ vibration control components.

 

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