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Copper-Free Brake Pad Informational Site Debuts

An informational website is now available, www.copperfreebrakes.org, to be of assistance to the auto care industry in complying with the “better brake laws” enacted in California and Washington states. These laws were designed to reduce the amount of copper, cadmium, chromium VI, mercury, lead and abestiform fibers contained in brake pads sold in those states beginning in 2014.

The website — which comes from a collaborative task force of aftermarket associations, as well as leadership representing brake pad manufacturers, distributors, retailers, dealerships and service providers — contains information and links to help suppliers, distributors and service providers know what is expected of them regarding the manufacture, sale, and installation of brake pads in these states.

Brake friction material manufacturers are required to undergo a self-certification process through an approved registrar and to have their materials tested for the level of those the items in question. Ultimately, all brake pads manufactured after 2021 will contain less than 5 percent copper by weight. And, by 2025, brake pads sold in California will contain less than 0.05 percent copper by weight.

A similar industry task force is working on implementing a memorandum of understanding that would make the Washington state regulations a standard across all states.

Rodney Pierini, president and CEO of CAWA, led the task force. “We are excited by the fact we have a central industry repository for information regarding the better brake laws,” Pierini said. “We realize that this is a dynamic environment, and the information regarding both states’ regulations should be accessible on one webpage. We will be continually adding materials including a frequently-asked-question page to the site once they become available or if regulations have changed.” 

Other participants that collaborated in the website creation include the …
• Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA)
• Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA)
• Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA)
• California Automotive Business Coalition (CALABC)
• California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA)
• Automotive Service Association of Washington (ASA-Washington)
• Washington Automotive Industry Association (WAIA).

Both states provided content for the site. Developers say updates to the site will be made continually as recommendations for content are received.

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