Pad test causes friction

TMD take exception to Unipart brake test

Published:  01 November, 2013

APPROVAL firm Quay Brake Testing has run a variety of tests on a selection of brake pads - and the results have not pleased everybody.

The tests, which we understand to be independent, were carried out on behalf of Unipart Automotive and included five different brands of brake pad. The same vehicle was used for each test - a Vauxhall Zafira with four wheel disc brakes and a new set of discs was fitted each time the pads were changed.

The tests included 'handbrake hold' on a 20% gradient, before and after the pads were bedded in, as well as a high speed test, a test for fade and 'hot stop' and a number of performance tests. Unipart declared its own pads as being the victors as they scored the most consistent average across the tests, although two of the other brands scored higher in the 'mode' average.

However, Pagid, one of the pad brands on the test, has taken exception to the results. In a statement, it says: "Firstly we must point out that the test routine carried out is not a friction or automotive industry recognised test. The method of brake application is based upon pedal force of 40daN. At this force each application would result in wheel lock".

"This type of testing is measuring not only the friction but also the vehicle's ABS functionality and the tyre road adhesion and it is not possible to be assured that each and every application is identical. This results in uncontrolled variation." Aftermarket understands that TMD Friction, owner of the Pagid brand, has instigated legal action against Unipart over the test results.

In reaction, Unipart has removed the brand names of the other pads on the test from its website and has suspended a video which showed the 'hot stop' braking distances. However, the firm stands by the results and says that it could have gone further. "We only did performance in these tests - we didn't do noise or comfort, although we are pretty confident about that too as we have noise reducing shims with all of our pads," explained Technical Manager Dennis Robbins.

View Unipart's 'Stop Secret' test result site here

Read Pagid's rebuttal of the tests here

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