The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and Michigan State police conducted an evaluation of aftermarket disc brake pads earlier this year.

The goal of the test is to provide police agencies around the country with information to make informed decisions regarding the best friction products for their police usage.

"Most severe duty commercial brake pads are designed for a variety of different types of usage and vehicle applications," according to Jerry Forystek, Raybestos Friction's director of product development. "Many manufacturers often compromise performance or noise when designing severe duty friction. Police agencies are looking for pads that have high friction performance, high temperature fade resistance, low wear and quiet operation."

The testing program consisted of two test stages:

Stage One (Prescreening): Evaluators performed an FMVSS 135-based inertia dynamometer laboratory performance screening test with an additional component to simulate high-speed (125 mph) pursuit conditions. These tests were conducted independently at Detroit's Greening Testing Laboratories.

A maximum of three top candidates for each vehicle application continued to Stage Two testing. Not all pads submitted passed the FMVSS 135 requirements and were not able to move on to the next stage of testing.

Stage Two (On-track Evaluation): Evaluators conducted this test on four police pursuit platforms including the Dodge Charger, Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, Chevrolet Impala and Chevrolet Tahoe. Each was equipped with equipment that had passed Stage One testing. The tests measured straight-line braking from two different speeds and timed laps around an enclosed road course.

The straight-line tests included two series of 60-0 mph and 125-0 mph stops. The last stage of the on-car evaluation simulates actual conditions encountered in pursuit or emergency situations. Each vehicle is driven on a road course for 32 timed laps using four separate drivers. The test is conducted blindly to prevent product bias.

The results of the test demonstrate "the superiority of Raybestos police brake pads," according to the company.

  • 28 letters of solicitation were sent to brake manufacturers; six manufacturers submitted products for testing; five manufacturers made it past Stage One testing.
  • Stage One of this test uses FMVSS 135 as criteria for passing to the next phase of testing. Raybestos was the only aftermarket brand to have product that passed on more than one platform.
  • In fact, Raybestos was the only aftermarket brand to pass the first stage of testing on all four vehicles. The other four suppliers that made Stage Two testing each passed on only one platform. Raybestos was the only aftermarket manufacturer that passed Stage One testing on the Dodge Charger and Chevrolet Tahoe.
  • Raybestos outperformed OE (original equipment) in stopping distance on three of four platforms.

The company's police disc brake pads are designed specifically for patrol and pursuit applications. These police pads utilize special materials to provide exceptional stopping power, temperature stability and provide "Quiet on Arrival" (QOA) noise-free braking performance.

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