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Brake Parts Inc. leads compliance of brake rule

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To comply with new laws in Washington and California, the Brake Manufacturers Council (BMC) developed an industry-wide, self-certification program called the Brake Friction Materials Self Certification Compliance Program.

The program confirms that friction material suppliers comply with the applicable legislation, regulations and requirements in those states in a phased approach.

“As part of the BMC, the Brake Pad Partnership and the Better Brakes Working Group, Brake Parts Inc. LLC has been actively engaged for more than 10 years to implement the Better Brake Rule,” says Terry Heffelfinger, vice president, product development, R&D, and quality, Brake Parts Inc.

The Washington Better Brakes Law requires a phase-out of copper and other chemical constituents from brake friction materials sold or offered for sale in that state. For nearly two years, the Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE) has been engaged in a consensus-based process to develop rules to implement the Better Brakes Law.

BPI worked in collaboration with stakeholders that represented interests in Washington State and around the globe. They included the WDOE, brake and motor vehicle manufacturers, water quality interests, wholesalers, distributors, retailers and installers of brakes.

As a part of the BMC, Brake Parts Inc. has taken its first step and is fully compliant with Phase 1 of the certification program. As required by law, BPI provided baseline data to NSF International (an independent third party industry-sponsored registrar) before the deadline of Jan. 1, 2013.

Then, NSF provided the data to the WDOE, in compliance with the Washington Better Brake Rule. 

Phase 2 of the new law limits heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, mercury, lead and asbestiform fibers when tested to Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2975 standards by an independent third-party lab.

This happens in 2014 for California, and in 2015 for Washington. The new laws further limit copper to less than 5% by weight in Phase 3 on or after Jan. 1, 2021. On Jan. 1, 2025, California will limit copper to 0.5% by weight in Phase 4. That same requirement becomes effective in Washington on Jan. 1, 2032, unless an advisory committee determines that alternatives brake friction materials are available.

“All BPI brake friction materials will be tested and certified compliant by NSF International, which serves as the industry-sponsored registrar for the BMC,” says Heffelfinger. “By doing so, BPI will meet the second phase of the legislation, which takes effect January 1, 2014.”

Each brake friction formulation or material that is tested and found compliant will be given an edge code per SAE J866. In addition to the edge code marking, product packaging will be labeled with a “LeafMark” to show its level of environmental regulatory compliance.

“Many people don’t realize that these laws eventually target professional technicians,” says Heffelfinger, explaining that they could be fined $10,000 per violation if a non-compliant brake pad is installed.

“For more than a century, the Raybestos brand has stood for safety.” He said the quest for safety now translates into protecting the environment… and protecting the reputations of the installers who sell Raybestos brakes in good faith.

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