14

I have purchased a pair of EBC Red Stuff front brake pads for my Audi S4 from a supplier whose name I will keep anonymous for now. I opened up the box and everything seemed in place except a weird feeling about how the brakes have been packaged and more importantly, how the actual pads looked like. The labels seemed very fragile to touch, and would start fading as soon as I lay my finger on them. I also found minor paint chips, which to be honest didn't bother me too much but I still noticed them. And finally, most important observation, the pads looked a bit different than what I have seen on other web sites.

May I ask for some help from the community to help me identify if this is a counterfeit. I am attaching a few photos below.

enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

13

Checked EBC website FAQ There was a question on cross drilled rotors, that were represented as genuine EBC brand. Here is the last sentence of their reply:

If you have any doubts that you are being supplied genuine EBC Brakes products contact EBC Brakes immediately for an opinion on warranty@ebcbrakes.com

I would recommend sending your concerns, along with the photos to them!

12

I can see two differences:

  • The EBC website shows a 3D view of the brake pads, which show a different shape for the black region. This may be because you have a different brake pad shape from the one in the 3D view.
  • The "brake-in coating" tri-color tone also seems like it's missing from your images.

EBC Red Stuff back

EBC Red Stuff

However, it's hard to conclude anything based on the images alone.

I would reach out to EBC and have them confirm whether they deem it to be legitimate.

  • 1
    And let us know what you find out! – RockPaperLizard Apr 2 '16 at 19:17
8

I went ahead with Abbottcost's advice and messaged EBC Barkes directly. They replied promptly with a detailed answer to my question. Here is an excerpt for the email:

We only powder coat the rear of the pad so as not to get too much powder coat on the friction surface, this means the rough overspray can look a little untidy. The Brake-In coating is a thick and sticky and applied with a roller system so that can also look a bit untidy. The chip from the corner is nothing to worry about even if a part of the friction material has come away- this will not affect performance. Please see the attached photos which are of a set I took from the shelf in our warehouse which I feel are a match to the ones you have hence I’m happy they are good.

enter image description here enter image description here

So the answer is: YES they are very likely GENUINE.

Thank you everyone for your input. I guess its better to double check than fall victim of counterfeit brake pads and learn it the hard way.

Great support from EBC Brakes team too!

3

That 'C' out of line (and the font looks a bit different) is suspicious. Most companies are super-picky about their logos. Quality of printing is terrible, and I would assume a real manufacturer would use printing that would withstand a bit of brake cleaner let alone a bit of finger smooshing.

The printing looks a bit like it was something like pad printing or screen printing faked to imitate computer printing- the lines are all askew.

You have good reason for suspicion, IMO.

3

Just by going off the print quality of the silk screens shown in EBC's website images versus the ones on the actual break pads. I'd conclude they are made in an inferior factory. They are most likely counterfeit parts that were actually made in China.

  • 6
    I agree they look dodgy, but keep in mind that marketing and advertising people often go to extreme lengths to present the most perfect possible vision of their products. When was the last time you saw a McDonald's hamburger that looked like the menu photo? – barbecue Apr 3 '16 at 3:21
  • FWIW, the information is inkjet printed onto the backs of the pads, not silkscreened. (this also explains the smudging). I bought some yellowstuff pads recently from a reputable supplier, with the hologram seal over the box, and the quality of the back print is just as dodgy. – Chris Woods Oct 8 '18 at 13:54

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