Most of those involved in aftermarket braking will know that ECE R-90 is a quality standard for brake parts. However, changes that were introduced in November 2016 for brake discs and drums have led to misunderstandings and confusion amongst factor customers. Scott Irwin, Technical Manager at TMD Friction, discusses the ECE R-90 changes that factors need to pass on to garages and the impact the updated regulations have on fitting brake parts.
Vehicles introduced to the market after the 1st November 2016 can only be driven with ECE R-90 brake discs and drums. This change has placed an added responsibility on technicians when fitting brake parts, creating a need to pay close attention to the age of the car being worked on, to ensure the parts fitted comply. Older models that do not fall into the threshold can still be equipped with uncertified parts; it’s only those manufactured after the 1st November last year that need to be treated differently.
As part of its extensive testing and development, TMD Friction has ensured that the bestselling brake discs within its brake parts programme – even though not always necessary – are ECE R- 90 certified. This helps to take stress away from technicians, as they can rest assured that if they’re fitting TMD Friction products, then they will be complying with the new regulation changes, says the company.
TMD Friction reportedly welcomes the legislative changes to set a minimum market standard with regards to brake security and product quality. It is hoped that this will make it more difficult for counterfeit, low-quality brake products to make their way into the market, which can cause a decline in driving safety.
As all seasoned factor staff will be aware, R-90 is a means of evaluating an aftermarket brake part against original equipment. For instance, brake pads that fall within a +/- 15% tolerance are considered fit for purpose – but this is a minimum requirement.
According to the company, not only do TMD Friction pads perform well against the tests, they also provide additional benefits that are not evaluated as part of the R-90 regulations. This allows customers to feel confident in the R&D invested into TMD’s products, particularly with regards to braking performance, comfort, product tests and durability – none of which are specified as criteria for R-90.
In addition to performance and comfort, TMD Friction’s products are also tested for fade, cold friction value, friction stability, noise, feel and response. These characteristics are not required by the ECE R-90, but as driver expectations rise, meeting consumer demands is ever more important.
Keeping up with regulation changes can be tricky, but it’s incredibly important to adhere to them from a safety perspective. Factors have a responsibility to ensure their customers are servicing vehicles to a roadworthy
and legal standard. If the team at TMD Friction can help to take the headache out of navigating new regulations,
it will; in the pursuit to support motor factors and garages within an ever- changing industry.