Law & Order

California Sets Limits on Brake Friction Materials

A collation of industry associations was able to alter legislation that would have placed unnecessarily restrictive limits on substances in brake friction materials. Brakes rely heavily on the use of copper for lubricity and the prohibition will increase costs by forcing manufacturers to undertake extensive research and development of alternate materials.

The amended bill provides for exemptions for brakes to be used on vehicles manufactured by a low-volume manufacturer and those to be used on vehicles manufactured before the prohibition goes into effect in 2021.

Amendments to the bill also included the creation of an advisory board with the power to grant further exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

An original $1 fee per set of brake pads was also removed during negotiations so that the only remaining fee will be for parties requesting exemptions from the advisory board. The amended bill was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger.

For more information, contact Steve McDonald at