DETROIT -- Chrysler Group has patented an improvement to its Stow 'n Go seats for a future minivan that would allow the seats to collapse in less space.
The story was first reported on the Web site allpar.com; the patent drawing shows the seats folding below the floor as they do in the current design.
The amended design would be an improvement because motorists shouldn't have to move the front-row seats fully forward to stow the second-row seats.
Also, the new design creates a flat floor with two pieces: One is hinged to the floor; the other is part of the seat back. In the current design, one piece hinged to the floor covers the collapsed seat.
It is unknown whether the seat design would be incorporated into the automaker's coming replacement for the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans, due in 2015, or in a subsequent model.
A Chrysler spokesman declined to comment on the report or the patent.
Chrysler first introduced Stow 'n Go seats on 2005 model year minivans. The popular feature was upgraded three years later by simplifying the seat folding process into a one-button operation.