How to Avoid Getting Scammed with Fake Brembo
Did you know that counterfeit Brembo Brakes are being sold as originals?
In most cases, these fakes cost almost the same as the real thing! Car enthusiasts get scammed by thinking they are buying the real thing, and are unaware that the product they purchased is not a true Brembo Gran Turismo big brake kit.
To protect yourself from buying fakes, there are some things you can do to be assured that you are getting the quality, safety, and performance that only Brembo can provide.
The Brembo Original Card
Prior to 2020, every Brembo big brake kit came with the Brembo Original Card. On each card is a unique card number and a PIN code. When you input the information on the car to the Brembo website (original.brembo.com), the site will inform you of the authenticity of the kit, as well as the details of the product, such as the part number, serial number, and application.
You can also use the Brembo Original Card with the Brembo Check app.
The Brembo Check App
Since 2020, Brembo has put QR codes on the packaging of big brake kits. You can find the QR code next to the Brembo Check logo, on the exterior of the box.
Using the Brembo Check mobile app, this QR code can be scanned to determine the product's authenticity. You will also see the product details, like serial number and specifications.
The Brembo Check app is available for both iOS and Android.
A Guide to Recognizing Fake Brembo
( 1 ) Completely Fake Kits
These counterfeit kits have zero components that are made by Brembo. In these cases, they attach a Brembo logo (often using a sticker, which should never be used) to fool unsuspecting buyers into buying these fakes. Sometimes they are crude copies and can easily be spotted by expert eye. Other times, though, they can be very deceiving, and replicate the external appearance of the components. But copying the appearance of a genuine Brembo product doesn’t mean replicating the technology on the inside or delivering the same performance standards.
Cheaply made products like these have no guarantee of compliance with manufacturing standards and no guarantee of performance. Most of these will have poor performance, or faded paint, or malfunctions in a short amount of time. Brembo has tested a number of fake products to the same tests that genuine Brembo originals undergo. None of these passed, with poor stopping power, vibrations, or mechanical failures.
( 2 ) "Mix-and-Match" or Surplus Kits
An original Brembo system is made up of the following components: caliper, disc, pad, brake lines, mounting hardware, the Brembo Original Card, and various documentation. But "mix-and-match" kits take what could be a genuine Brembo component - like the caliper - and match it with discs, pads, and other parts that have unknown origins.
Some versions of these fakes use calipers sourced from a car that has an OE Brembo system, like a Porsche, or Mitsubishi Evolution, or some other vehicle. They may or may not still have the logo or markings of the car they are from. Other versions use surplus calipers from genuine Brembo upgrade kits, but sourced from salvage yards and matched with poor quality discs, pads, and other components.
You also do not know if these calipers are new or not. Sometimes they’re not new, but sourced from stolen or wrecked vehicles, so you have no idea of their history. And in cases like these, they are likely not to have been properly rebuilt or refurbished, compromising the safety, performance, and longevity of the components.
Brembo strongly warns users against using these kits, because the performance of a braking system is determined not just by the quality of on part, but also by the perfect integration of each of its components. Also, each braking system must be properly engineered for specific applications. A brake system that works well for Vehicle A might be a really bad fit for Vehicle B. It could be a difference in weight, power, drivetrain layout, ABS system, hydraulics or any number of other variables. In all cases, you are left with a product that could be dangerous to use for your car.
( 3 ) All Caliper Covers are Fake
One of the most common counterfeit Brembo items in the market are cheap caliper covers. Let us make one thing clear:
Brembo does not, never has, and never will produce or sell caliper covers.
Brembo takes braking research and technology very seriously, and there is no safety or performance benefit in things like cheap plastic or metal covers. In fact, caliper covers actually make your brakes perform worse.
Caliper covers prevent cool air from passing over the caliper, which causes increased temperatures in the brake system. When the brakes run hotter, it means that your brake discs and brake pads wear out faster, which costs you money. It also means that the system can overheat faster, which leads to brake fade - when your brakes lose braking power, even if you step on the pedal harder.
In summary, you are paying for a product that wears out your brake discs and pads faster and makes them less effective. Which is a total lose-lose situation.