The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that the vast majority of auto accidents that occur in the U.S. are the result of driver. However, a smaller, but still significant, portion are the result of mechanical failure. Though passenger vehicles and commercial trucks have gotten consistently more reliable over the years, they still require regular maintenance and high-quality, properly tested components in order to function properly.
Malfunctioning brakes are a particularly terrifying problem for drivers. Whether brakes become less effective over time or suddenly stop working altogether, they can seriously impact a vehicle's ability to stop in time to avoid a collision. It is important to ensure that not only are the original brakes on a vehicle functioning properly, but so too are any replacement brake components.
But along the global supply chain, both technicians and manufacturers have to deal with counterfeit parts, which can jeopardize a vehicle's safety. The problem of counterfeiting has served, in part, as a catalyst for new regulatory efforts such as the ECE-R90 rule. By mandating specific design, construction and performance requirements for brake linings, discs and drums, this regulation ensures that replacement parts are of similar quality to the originals. Specific portions of the rule pertaining to component labeling prevent low quality counterfeit parts from reaching the market.
Researchers are constantly working on new ways to improve brake technology. But while new advancements, such as automatic braking systems, have the potential to make major improvements in auto safety, it remains crucial to prevent counterfeit parts from threatening drivers.