Affinia Global Brake & Chassis, which manufactures Raybestos brand brake components, has issued a safety warning to the public regarding thin plate rotors. The parts manufacturer said it recently discovered a serious potential brake safety concern regarding the replacement and use of certain imported brake rotors that are significantly different from the Original Equipment (OE) rotors they replace.
These replacement rotors deviate widely in thickness, air gaps, vane configurations and overall have a significant reduction in the effective thermal mass or weight, according to Affinia. These changes to the rotor makeup and design do not conform to the OE specifications and adversely affect the product performance leading to the possibility of rotor failure and braking system problems. Brake rotors are a safety-related component and should never be compromised from OE design without engineering validation.
As a result of these changes, lightweight rotors run hotter and the brake system cannot absorb and dissipate that heat properly. Therefore, the heat creates thermal stress and strain, which induces cracks in the rotor. These cracks lead to, among other things, longer stopping distances and potential wheel lock-up. The heat is also transferred to the brake pads, caliper pistons and brake fluid and can cause premature wear of these components. Ultimately, left unrepaired, these thermal stresses lead to brake system failures.
If you have had a brake rotor replacement in the last year, and have encountered an early brake rotor failure such as a cracked or separated disc brake rotor, Affinia recommends the following actions:
1. Return to the service repair facility where your vehicle was serviced.
2. After the vehicle inspection, if the repair facility determines there are cracks in the rotor, have the technician document the incident, including:
• Vehicle year, make and model
• Component, i.e. brake rotor
• Date of original brake rotor replacement
• Mileage at time of replacement
3. Evidence of a defect or non-conforming product should also be registered with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Defect Investigation (NHTSA ODI).
A defect claim can be registered with NHTSA ODI directly at (888) 327-4236 or go to http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm and file a complaint.