DONCASTER, U.K. — In the fight against the fakes, JURATEK is encouraging garages and technicians to ensure they are using high-quality products for all jobs, as fitting poor-quality parts can lead to short lifespan and poor customer service.
The recent DVSA investigation into R90 has been a good reminder not to be complacent about the reasons and benefits of being compliant. JURATEK is helping technicians and motor factors identify what to look out for to remain compliant.
It is now well over 20 years ago that R90 was introduced, initially for replacement brake pads and linings, and more recently, for replacement brake discs and drums.
Matt Leeming, Marketing Manager at JURATEK commented: “Any company who treats the quality of the product seriously welcomes this legislation and is happy that the DVSA are policing this.”
What is R90?
The regulation is a safety standard that sets minimum levels of performance for replacement brake products. Product is tested against the equivalent OE product for the applications concerned. Product that meets the required standards is granted an approval number by a government body, such as the VCA in the UK, this approval number will look something like E11 90R -02 A01234/5678.
What else is covered by R90?
While the performance of the product is the priority, it is not the only thing that the approval covers, the packaging and product markings are important too. For example, the label has to show the approval number (E11 90R -02 A01234/5678), the suppliers part number and in the case of friction products, the material type that has been tested.
In addition, the regulation also requires ongoing checks on the conformance of production to ensure that each batch of product continues to perform at the same level as when it was first approved.
How do I know if my product is approved?
The responsibility of this legislation is shared at all levels of the supply chain, to ensure only approved product is fitted, so it is important to know what to look for. As a consumer you are limited in what you can do to check compliance, but the basics of what you can do are:
1. Check if the label has an “E” mark approval number, which looks something like E11 90R-02A01234/46789
2. Check to see if the pad inside the box has exactly the same approval number on as the label
3. Is the box tamper proof? If it can be opened and re-sealed easily without any obvious evidence of this, then the product inside could be fake
4. In addition to the “E” mark approval number, the label and pad inside need to state the material type (which will be a code recognized by the DVSA and be on the certificate that the VCA issues). If there is no code, then it is not compliant
5. The final piece in this is that the vehicle that this part is being fitted to also needs to be listed on the certificate, and any new applications need to be added by the supplier. This is an ongoing conformance issue that suppliers are working on all the time. The certificate is not a public document, however any supplier who treats this seriously will ensure their certificates are up to date. So, it’s best to always choose a supplier who take ECE R90 seriously.
What ECE R90 does NOT test for is longevity and noise. Cheaper alternatives could wear out faster and be overly noisy, which is why the OE industry, and some aftermarket companies like Juratek, go beyond the regulations to check for long life and low noise.
It is important as a consumer to choose a brand that you can trust and a supplier who is serious about the legislation and has taken all reasonable measure to ensure compliance.