Affinia Files Suit Over Brake Safety Concerns - Tire Review Magazine

Affinia Files Suit Over Brake Safety Concerns

Affinia Group Inc. filed suit against one of its competitors, alleging the company competed unfairly by falsely advertising the quality of certain brake rotors for cars and light-duty trucks.

Testing by an independent laboratory has shown that certain "lightweight rotors" made by the defendant, Dura International of Rancho Dominguez, Ca., weighed significantly less than OE specifications, although the weight is not the only concern. These rotors were structurally weaker and significantly more prone than their OE counterparts to crack and fail in performance tests, the suit claims.

“Manufacturers and importers of aftermarket, or replacement, parts have a tremendous incentive to expressly state or otherwise imply to potential purchasers that their parts are consistent with OE specifications and that their performance and durability are consistent with the performance and durability of OE parts.

“Most do-it-yourselfers and auto repair shops rely on such advertising statements because they lack the technical expertise to know whether a part actually meets or exceeds OE specifications and performance. If potential purchasers are told that aftermarket parts from competing suppliers are of comparable quality – i.e., meet or exceed OE specifications – price differences between competing products become significant,” the suit states.

Affinia claims that although Dura’s "lightweight rotors" do not meet or exceed OE specifications, the company continues to expressly state or otherwise imply that every unit meets or exceeds OE specifications and performance, giving Dura an unfair advantage over Affinia.

Affinia’s legal action addresses certain of Dura’s Lightweight Rotors and not the company’s entire product line.

Affinia said it believes Dura and other companies began introducing the "Lightweight Rotors" into the North American market in the summer of 2008. The design changes were based not on engineering or performance criteria but on some other criteria, such as a desire to reduce mass and control costs, according to Affinia.

In its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Richmond, Va., Affinia seeks to enjoin Dura from making false claims for its brake rotor products or falsely implying that its "Lightweight Rotors" meet or exceed OE specifications and performance.

Affinia also asks the court to order Dura to publish corrective advertising disclosing that their "Lightweight Rotors" intentionally deviate from OE specifications, have not been tested to meet or exceed OE specifications and performance, and have not been subjected to independent engineering validation. (Tire Review/Akron)

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