Development of Friction Materials Regulations for Four Latin American Countries 2020-01-1615
Brakes are an essential safety device in a vehicle; however, there are few barriers to manufacture, import, or sell friction materials in most of the countries, including the USA. European countries, with the ECE R90 program, are a big exception.
The International Transport Forum published in 2017 the “Benchmarking of road safety in Latin America” report , where it mentions that worldwide 17.5 people in every 100,000 die in road accidents. It is considerably higher in Andean countries and South America. In Andean countries (Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela) the mortality rate is 23.4. In all South American countries, the average rate is 21.0.
Our study focuses on Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico because they are the most populated countries in Latin America and where more vehicles are sold, 3.5 Million in 2019 according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) . Government and professional organizations have developed over time regulations to improve the quality and reliability of friction materials used for original equipment and aftermarket to protect pedestrians, drivers, passengers, and those who trade friction materials. Regulations must go beyond quality control because they intend to supplement original design, developed in countries with different road conditions and driving habits to supporting complex local geography, load carried beyond specification, and unforeseen driving habits.
The four countries object of this paper have implemented some sort of certification process through their government agencies with different results. Those processes require improvement, hopefully, using experiences and lessons learned from each other.
This paper explores the certification processes undertaken by those four countries, the evolution of road safety, and also proposes a discussion about how those countries should convey efforts to improve the process for the region for days to come to make brakes safer.