EPA, OEMs and Brake Manufacturers Sign Agreement On Reducing Copper in Brake Pads

Reps of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) and motor vehicle industry associations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the agency and the motor vehicle industry for the reduction of copper in brake pads. The MOU calls for the reduction of the use of copper in brake pads beginning in 2021 to levels less than 5 percent by weight and further reductions to 0.5 percent by the year 2025.

The states of California and Washington initially enacted legislation to this effect and it became clear that guidelines were needed at the national level to ensure consistency in reporting requirements and recognition of the industry’s compliance with those laws. Brake manufacturers have fully supported the efforts and have expended millions of dollars in the reformulation of their proprietary brake friction ingredients to ensure continued product quality and performance, motorists’ safety and reduced copper content.

The ceremony was held here today in conjunction with the Society of Automotive Engineers International (SAE) 2015 Government/Industry Meeting. Participating in the MOU signing were Stan Meiburg, acting deputy assistant administrator of the EPA, signing for EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy; Robert J. Martineau Jr., ECOS president and commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation; and designated signatories from the supporting industry trade associations.

“This historic MOU will provide the motor vehicle industry with consistent copper reduction guidelines and eliminate the potential for disparate state regulations,” said Steve Handschuh, president and CEO of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), one of key industry associations involved with the effort. “This has been a proactive, collaborative effort by regulatory agencies, states, the automotive aftermarket and the motor vehicle industry to reduce copper in U.S. waterways.”

The motor vehicle industry associations that supported this effort and provided feedback on the MOU are:

  • Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
  • Association of Global Automakers
  • Auto Care Association
  • Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association
  • Brake Manufacturers Council
  • Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association
  • Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association
  • Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association

To learn the MOU and copper reduction in brake products, visit www.copperfreebrakes.org.

One Killed As Brake-Ridden Road Roller Flattens Bystanders

One person is dead and multiple people are injured following a freak accident that took place today in Mapusa, India.

According to reports, a road roller was on the job when it suddenly lost all braking power and started to pick up momentum. The driver started shouting loudly to the people on the road to move aside as the roller begun traveling faster and faster out of control.

When the road roller reached a slope, it hit a scooter coming in the opposite direction. The impact was so powerful that the woman was flung off from her scooter and hit the gutter by the road.

The road roller which was in no control of the driver hit the two two-wheelers along the road. By this time the road roller had already travelled for more than 150 meters along the slope.

Realizing that the vehicle cannot be controlled because of the junction ahead the driver jumped off it to save his life. The speeding road roller, without driver, later  entered a no-entry road and hit a building, and fell on its side, but all not before damaging 11 two-wheelers and a car. Six two-wheelers were completely crushed under the roller.

Uber’s and Lyft Brake Inspection Procedures Get Off On The Wrong “Foot”

lyft inspection form

Uber and Lyft ride services are trying to replace taxi cabs. But, what is the difference a vehicle inspection for a cab and Uber/Lyft vehicle? A lot! The typical licensed and commercially insured taxi has an inspection carried out a licensed third party at specific intervals. Ride share vehicles are inspected maybe annually

Lyft and Uber require “newer” vehicles. For Uber, the vehicle has to be 2008 model year or newer. For Lyft, vehicles must be model year 2000 or newer.  But, they both have a very relaxed vehicle inspection scheme. And when it comes to brakes, it is almost joke.

Uber Inspection Form

Lyft Inspection Form

Both programs require a “peer-to-peer” inspection of a new driver’s vehicle or a “approved” mechanic must inspect the vehicle. The inspection form is filled with typos and is not really “mechanically” accurate. The worst is when the call the left and right front brake left and right “foot” on the Lyft inspection form.

What really bugs me is the lack of a set inspection procedures. Also, both the Uber and Lyft forms do not ask for rotor thickness measurements. Also, who is keeping these records?

When you consider the average New York taxi cab can cover 70,000 miles a year, you can see why three inspections a year are necessary to spot brake problems. Even if the average Uber car travels half this distance, chances are the brake pads will need to be replaced.


40 People Injured As Bus Crashes In India

40 people have been reported to have suffered injuries, 12 of them seriously, when a private bus they were traveling in crashed into a bus stop.

Police said the accident took place around 9.15 a.m. when “The bus driver was trying to overtake other vehicles rashly and it suddenly swerved to the right and crashed into the stop…”

Bystanders and the police rescued the passengers, a couple of whom were injured. Fortunately no one was fatally hurt. The front portion of the bus was completely damaged in the impact and twisted seats and wreckage were spread out from the damaged portion, reports say.

Following the incident, the passengers were rushed to nearby hospitals and about 25 of them were immediately discharged after receiving first aid. The other seriously injured included the bus driver, its conductor and a 38-year-old woman, who broke her ribs. An engineer and a migrant labourer engaged in the metro project also suffered injuries.

Meanwhile, traffic on the busy stretch remained disrupted for more than an hour until the bus was moved to the side of the road.

Preliminary investigations blamed the accident on brake failure. The police, however, lodged a case of rash and negligent driving against the bus driver, Shiju, 46, but is yet to record his statements.

According to traffic officials, the impact of the accident would have been greater had the driver turned the bus to the left side. “This would have caused the vehicle to fall onto the road underneath. Similarly, the number of injuries would have been higher had the bus completed the descent and hit the vehicles waiting down there’’, they said.

The damaged bus was toed away from the spot about an hour later and was shifted to the traffic station later in the evening.

3 Killed, 11 Injured After Brake Failure in Dubai

Three people were killed and 11 others injured today when a truck went out of control after its brakes failed near Dubai, police said.

The truck, carrying electricity poles, collided with an autorickshaw, killing three of its occupants, and then hit 11 pedestrians and other road users before crashing into a roadside house, reports stated.

A brake failure was deemed the cause of the accident at the scene of the crash.

Three of the injured are in serious condition, adding the deceased are yet to be identified.