Published on March 18, 2013 @ 6:00am EST

Groups working to meet new brake pad laws

McHENRY, Ill.óLaws in California and Washington banning certain concentrations of harmful materials used in manufacturing brake pads have groups concentrating their efforts to meet impending deadlines.

Brake Parts Inc., manufacturer of Raybestos brake components, has sworn to take a leadership role in complying with and disseminating the Brake Friction Materials Self-Certification Compliance Program.

The Brake Manufacturers Council, an affiliate of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, developed the self-certification program in response to the brake pad content laws passed in California and Washington State in 2010.

While the California and Washington statutes differ in detail, both laws ban the sale of brake pads containing more than trace concentrations of lead, asbestos, cadmium, mercury and chromium, on pain of $10,000 per violation.

The limits go into effect in 2014 in California and 2015 in Washington. Both require certification of content by a third-party laboratory testing brake pad content under Society of Automotive Engineers Test J2975.

Pads manufactured before the date of the ban can still be sold until Dec. 31, 2023, in California and until 2025 in Washington. However, both laws absolutely forbid the sale of pads containing more than 5 percent copper from 2021 on.

The California law forbids brake pads containing more than 0.5 percent copper after Jan. 1, 2025. That same level will become law in Washington until Jan. 1, 2032, unless an advisory committee determines that alternative brake friction materials are available.

Washington allows inventory clearing of pre-2021 pads until 2031. The state also exempts all pads manufactured before 2021 as part of an original equipment contract.

Washington's law contains a provision for self-certification of compliance, in which brake pad manufacturers and importers submit samples of their products to a certified laboratory, either by themselves or through an industry-sponsored registrar.

As part of the Brake Manufacturers Council, the Brake Pad Partnership and the Better Brakes Working Group, Brake Parts has been actively engaged in implementing a brake rule for more than a decade, according to Terry Heffelfinger, the company's vice president, product development, R&D and quality.

Brake Parts is now fully compliant with Phase I of the self-certification program, which required brake pad manufacturers to submit data to NSF International, a third-party registrar, by Jan. 1, 2013, Mr. Heffelfinger said. NSF then provided the data to the Washington Department of Ecology.


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