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Compulsory specifications for replacement brake lining assemblies will help companies fit these with confidence, secure in the knowledge that the products are safe.
In 2008 the regulation of items falling under the requirements of compulsory specifications was transferred from the SABS to a new department within the Department of Trade and Industry, the National Regulator of Compulsory Specifications (NRCS). Replacement brake lining assemblies are included under this requirement. Although compulsory specifications for replacement brake lining assemblies have been around for over 10 years, they were difficult to enforce, and thus needed to be revised to be closer to the United Nations ECE regulation 90. After consultation between the NRCS and relevant stake holders, the revised standards were gazetted on 24 December 2010 and became effective on 1 January 2011.
Since these standards are set to ensure public safety and protect consumers from noncompliant brake components, the RMI has decided to continue its involvement in protecting the public and consumers by appointing a Friction Industry Standards Coordinator. The aim is to monitor products offered to consumers and test them against the new standards, and coordinate corrective actions with the NRCS for products that do not comply.
Besides the benefit to motorists, this will instil confidence amongst RMI members that they are supplying brake pads that comply with compulsory specifications. The Consumer Protection Act also specifically states that products covered by compulsory standards and offered to consumers must meet these standards. All products from local manufactures and importers will be tested for compliance, consumers should ensure that products they purchase comply with the compulsory
It is surprising how few people selling brake products are aware of the standards. A brief survey among eight companies exhibiting brake products at Automechanika SA revealed that seven were not aware of the compulsory specifications, and had no idea whether their products met the required specifications. The single vendor that was aware of the specifications did have the required â€œEâ€ registration mark on all their products. One other vendor did indicate that the â€œEâ€ mark was on 20 per cent of their range.
Any consumer buying from the other six would probably find that the products purchased do not comply and may in fact pose a serious safety risk. Manufacturing, importing or selling products that do not comply with required standards, or lack the required marking, can have serious personal and business implications for those involved. Companies that manufacture, import or sell products requiring compulsory specifications must keep full records of the products, and supply these to NRCS for scrutiny if requested.
If any products are found to be not compliant, a directive can be issued by NCRS that they be retained, recalled, returned to the country of origin, confiscated or destroyed. To ensure that all affected parties in the industry are involved in this important initiative, the RMI welcomes involvement and sponsorship for this programme from RMI members and non members. The sponsorships could assist with costs of testing and technical support as required.
The RMI invites all companies involved with the manufacture or importation of disc brake pads to contact John Koen, the newly appointed Friction Industry Standards Coordinator to discuss issues, sponsorship or any other issues relating to this programme.