“Safety Tax” To Be Added in 2015, Rockefeller Calls For Reform

In response to recent recalls and vehicle safety concerns, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, introduced S. 2559, a bill to expand the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) authority to recall unsafe vehicles and increase funding for automobile safety.

This bill would require greater transparency from NHTSA by mandating that all customer satisfaction campaigns, customer advisories, recalls, consumer complaints, warranty claims, field reports, technical service bulletins and other activity involving the repair or replacement of automotive vehicles or automotive vehicle equipment be made available to the general public.

It would also require NHTSA to make several regular reports to Congress, including a report on the results of a study of the use of early warning data. The study would evaluate the number of safety defect investigations opened by NHTSA, the duration of each safety defect investigation, and the percentage of the safety defect investigations that result in a safety defect or recall.

Another report would require the secretary of transportation to prepare a report regarding the operations of the Council for Vehicle Electronics, Vehicle Software and Emerging Technologies.

S. 2559 would also increase funding for NHTSA’s vehicle safety programs. The additional funding would stem from a manufacture’s fee of $3 per vehicle beginning in 2015, rising to $6 a year later and then $9 in 2017. The fee would be based on automakers’ U.S. sales. Rockefeller’s bill is currently before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation where it awaits further consideration.

The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry. Please join ASA July 30-Aug. 2 in Detroit for this year’s International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) and Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). For more information visit www.NACEexpo.com and www.CARSevent.com.

For the original article, visit ASA.

Tech: Brakes Five Things To Know About Brake Pad Copper Laws

1. Two states have passed laws, and more are on the horizon:
California was the first state ever to pass a law regulating copper and other semi-harmful substances in brake pads. Washington was not far behind with an even more extensive law. Hawaii, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon and even other countries are contemplating constructing their own laws.
2. The new laws single out the “installer”: 
In addition to manufacturing and distribution, the California and Washington state laws use the term “installer” (not the most flattering term) in the measure’s language. This means a shop in these states could be fined up to $10,000 fine per each violation if any kind of non-approved brake pad is installed on a vehicle.
3. The laws target other toxic substances in brake pads: 
While copper has gotten most of the attention, these new laws also focus on asbestos, chromium and other heavy metals in brake pads that can seriously harm nature and even technicians.
4. These laws are being phased in NOW:
While these laws will not be in full effect for over 10 years, many pieces of the laws are being phased in as you read this right now. Starting on the first day of January last year, friction material manufacturers who conducted business in Washington state were required to submit a report on their use of copper, nickel, zinc, antimony and other metals. By 2015, all new inventory must be labeled saying if it complies with the law or not. Manufacturers, distributors and “installers” have 10 years to sell off existing inventory that violates the law. After the ten years is up, they are subject to extremely heavy fines. In California, the law also restricts the use of the cadmium, chromium, lead and its compounds starting January first of this year.
5. It might influence your choices for brake pads: 
The laws do put new financial and technical burdens on friction material manufacturers. Under the Washington state law, friction material formulation has to be tested by an approved laboratory and the applications that use this material must be submitted so the right label can appear on the box. Every step in the process costs valuable money and time. These burdens may be so great that some manufacturers may exit some of these markets completely.
Like it or not, this could be our generation’s asbestos. We are just at the start of what could be a painful, but necessary process that will impact your shop and the environment in a positive way even if you do not live on the West Coast. It is my opinion that these new requirements will improve the pads you are installing on a vehicles. More to come. 

For more on this national issue, visit our friends at Brake and Front End.
Original author: Andrew Markel


F1 Brake Failure: Brake By Wire Explained

Brake Failure and F1 are on a fast track to being synonymous in the Formula One world. It seems as though every race is not being decided by wit and skill, but instead by whose brakes will last the longest before crossing the white flag.

But why does this keep occurring? Isn’t the point of implementing new technology into F1 supposed to benefit drivers?

Before you can critique the system you must know how it works.

Probably the simplest explanation of the new brake by wire system as defined by RacecarEngineering is as follows: When the driver hits the brake it is not just the carbon brake discs and pads that slows the car down on a 2014 car, the energy recover system also does a significant amount too, kind of like engine braking but with a much stronger effect. This means that the drivers left pedal (F1 cars have no clutch pedal) is no longer linked directly to the rear brakes, but instead it is linked to a computer which then controls the rear brakes. The front brakes continue to operate in the same way as they always have done.

The primary reason for this is that rules state that a car is only allowed to recover a certain amount of energy per lap from the rear brakes (it does not recover from the fronts), and there is only a finite amount of total energy that can be stored in the battery. When reaching either of these limits, the ERS stops recovering energy and the braking effect is lost and the traditional brakes take over. But for the driver, it i

The semi active BBW system is designed to stop that from happening and automatically balance the conventional brakes with the ERS braking. But, getting that to work properly is currently a substantial problem for numerous amounts of teams including Lotus. “The biggest problems are how the chassis works with the power unit and how the energy recovery system works. So there are some inconsistencies there which are making it very difficult for the driver to predict what he is going to get when he arrives at the corner” Technical Director Nick Chester admitted. “So the system is not doing exactly the same thing every time and that is disturbing the driver and losing us a lot of time.”s important to retain the brake feeling otherwise when he hits the pedal he is never quite sure what will happen next. Imagine driving down a steep hill in a low gear using the only engine braking to slow you down, then suddenly that braking effect stops it makes the car almost impossible to drive smoothly.

The brake by wire system may possess some flaws, but when tweaked correctly, it could mean a whole new ball game for Formula One fans all over the world. It will take some time, that’s for sure, but with success, it could be revolutionary to the sport. Only time will tell what the BBW system has in store for F1, but right now, all we can do is wait and find out.

House Orders Report On Asbestos Content Of Imported Brake Products

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure last Thursday mandating a report on the importation of all brake products containing asbestos. The Brake Manufacturers Council (BMC) of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) and the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) have called this a substantial win for the BMC and association members.

Bill Hanvey, BMC group executive and vice president of AASA had this to say about the issue: “U.S. manufacturers have worked diligently to meet requirements to remove asbestos from their brake friction products over the past 10 years. However, some internationally manufactured brake friction products made with asbestos are still being imported into the U.S. market.” 

Last April, during the annual MEMA Legislative Summit, members of the BMC met with Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) to illustrate concerns about the continuing importation of brake friction materials that comprise of asbestos. Wolf, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, composed the bill that has now passed the House.

The measure itself requires requires the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA) to report within 120 days of the act’s passage regarding imported brake products containing asbestos.

“This is a clear example of why participation in the Legislative Summit and our advocacy programs work,” said Ann Wilson, senior vice president, government affairs, MEMA. “While there is much discussion of the gridlock and partisan bickering present today in Washington, honest and productive advocacy is still effective and still takes place in the halls of Congress.

For the original article, visit our friends at AfterMarketNews.

UPDATED: “Leaf Mark” Becomes New Brake Standard

Federal-Mogul is making copper-based brake discrepancies a little easier to comprehend by encouraging the use of the new “Leaf Mark” that is intended to increase awareness of the new packaging covering “low copper” compliant brake pads.

This “Leaf Mark” has been introduced by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association as a pivotal reference to recent legislation in California and Washington that has mandated the dramatic reduction of copper and other potentially hazardous substances in original equipment and replacement brake pads and shoes.

To assist consumers and technicians, this new mark helps differentiate between all the new brake pads that comply with the new requirements.

So what are the each of the symbols and what do they mean?

Photo Courtesy: AfterMarket News
Photo Courtesy: AfterMarket News

Level “A”: Asbestiform fibers, less than 0.1% by weight
• Cadmium and its compounds, less than 0.01% by weight
• Chromium (VI)-salts, less than 0.1% by weight
• Lead and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
• Mercury and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
By 2014 in California and 2015 in Washington, all brake friction materials restricted to no more than 0.1% by weight of asbestiform fibers, chromium, lead and mercury and no more than 0.01% by weight of cadmium.

Level “B”: Contains between 0.5% and 5% of copper by weight
• Asbestiform fibers, less than 0.1% by weight
• Cadmium and its compounds, less than 0.01% by weight
• Chromium (VI)-salts, less than 0.1% by weight
• Lead and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
• Mercury and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
By 2021 in both states, copper in all brake friction materials must be less than 5% by weight.

Finally, level “N”: Contains less than 0.5% of copper by weight
• Asbestiform fibers, less than 0.1% by weight
• Cadmium and its compounds, less than 0.01% by weight
• Chromium (VI)-salts, less than 0.1% by weight
• Lead and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
• Mercury and its compounds, less than 0.1% by weight
By 2025, California law requires that copper must be less than 0.5% by weight. Washington will adopt a date for 0.5% by weight copper following a ­feasibility assessment.

To learn more about the industry’s shift to low- and zero-copper brake pads, visit www.WagnerBrake.com. All trademarks are owned by Federal-Mogul Corp. or one or more of its subsidiaries in one or more countries.

Porsche Investigates Macan For Brake Issues

The German automaker announced recently that a 2,500 car probe has been issued regarding possible brake booster issues in the brand new Macan SUV.

This is the first year that the Macan has been made, and has been doing very well in the market. In Germany, the vehicle has already been sold out for 2014 since January, and Porsche wants it’s already pristine record to remain blemish-free.

In an official announcement, Porsche specifically stated that even though the damaged units comply with the legal requirements, the dealer for the clients with the affected Macan cars would be contacted for a free inspection of the unit and, if required, a replacement.

Usually with most new cars, even ones as glamorous as Porsche, have initial problems when first shipped out, but tend to be easily addressed over time.