Interview: Affinia's Group President and CEO Terry McCormack Talks About Controversial Trends in The Brake Rotor Market

Interview: Affinia’s Group President and CEO Terry McCormack Talks About Controversial Trends in The Brake Rotor Market

In an exclusive interview with, Affinia's Group President and CEO Terry McCormack brings us up to speed on its lawsuit against Dura International and the lightweight rotor controversy.

ACPN: For nearly a year now, Affinia has been very vocal over concerns about thin-walled rotors. It started with an open letter to the industry, then a sort of public service message to consumers, followed by a lawsuit against some of your competitors. Can you give us an update on what’s happening and how Affinia came to be aware of this issue?

Terry McCormack: Affinia has been doing everything in its power to call attention to this issue. This is first and foremost a safety issue for all motorists. Second, it’s about standards for “life and limb” products such that the motorist is assured they have been serviced with replacement products that meet or exceed original equipment performance.

ACPN: As part of the lawsuit, Affinia acquired rotors manufactured by competitive manufacturers. What did Affinia find out from the study? 

TM: A little more than a year ago, Affinia began seeing a new class of lighter, thinner and cheaper rotors appear in the market, apparently in response to the huge run-up in materials costs that had caused rotor prices to spike by more than one-third in recent years. We began examining the new products and discovered that there’s nothing magical about their design that allows them to achieve the low pricing: simply less material resulting in lower cost, and these rotors have significantly less material than the OE rotors they are meant to replace.

ACPN: What has been the response from other rotor manufacturers?

TM: Despite what one competitor has said, the differences cannot be chalked up to “normal and natural variations” in the manufacturing process. We’re talking about some weight differences of more than 15%, and cheek-thickness differences of more than 25%. Make no mistake about it, this redesign change was deliberate. Ongoing testing by a respected independent lab has shown that the lightweight rotors are more prone than their OE counterparts to cracking and outright failure. The lab has done enough testing to satisfy the scientists that the results are statistically valid.

ACPN: What does Affinia hope to accomplish with the court case?

TM: Our quarrel with some of the manufacturers and importers who sell these lightweight rotors is when they promote and advertise them as meeting or exceeding OE performance and specifications. That simply gives the independent aftermarket a bad name. That is how Dura International promoted the lightweight rotors that we cited in our lawsuit. The laboratory measurements and performance testing on those rotors showed they fell far short of the OE specs and performance. To us, that’s false advertising and unfair competition, so we went to court to stop it.

ACPN: How concerned should the shops be about these rotors? 

TM: Here’s the main thing that should bother all distributors and technicians; to our knowledge these importers and manufacturer’s made indiscriminate rotor design deviations without any engineering validation. And, they didn’t tell a soul. We’re telling the public what we have found in the marketplace and expressing our concerns about motor vehicle safety.

You May Also Like

Autoshop Solutions Partners with BlueRecruit

The two are working together to help bring exceptional technicians, mechanics, and service writers to Autoshop customers’ garages.

Autoshop Solutions has partnered with BlueRecruit, to help their customers find the right talent for their shops.

“We could not be more excited to partner with Autoshop Solutions. Daily, we hear from garage owners of the difficulty they are experiencing finding and connecting with talent. That is why this partnership allows us to better serve the thousands of garages that know and trust our friends at Autoshop Solutions. We could not find a better industry partner to work with,” said Rich Camacho, CEO of BlueRecruit. “Our mission at BlueRecruit is to provide America’s workers a revolutionary path to success, and this partnership is a perfect step on the way to achieving that goal.”

Honda, Ascend Elements partner on EV battery materials

Ascend Elements has recycled used lithium-ion batteries for American Honda Motor Co. since 2021.

Bosch Releases 52 Aftermarket Parts in Q1

The new Bosch products includes three braking parts, 16 fuel and water pumps, two ignition coils, 30 sensors and one fuel injector.

BCA Bearings Announces 2023 Summer Cruisin’ Promotion

The Summer Cruisin’ promotion runs from April 1 through June 15, 2023.

Standard Motor Products’ ABS Sensors Line Expands

Standard offers more than 2,600 ABS Sensors fitting import and domestic vehicle

Other Posts

Akebono Releases ProACT Brake Pad Kits for Honda and More

Electronic wear sensor and premium stainless steel abutment hardware is included in the kits that require it. 

Bartec USA To Host TIA’s ATS Class at Their Facility

Classes will be held from April 25-28.

Auto Value, Bumper to Bumper Ultimate Vehicle Giveaway

Two lucky technicians will win a vehicle of their choice this spring.

SMP Expands Hybrid and EV Product Offering

Standard is prepared to meet the demand of the growing hybrid and EV population with over 4,000 parts available for 150 models.