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Chevrolet Will Be Able To Sell The Camaro As Normal Starting The 2022 Model Year

2020 2021 Chevrolet Camaro SS ZL1 wing muscle car
Image Via Chevrolet.

The government overseeing the crumbling dystopia that is The California Republic continues to find new and unique ways to make people move out of the state, with the latest being a regulatory ban on copper in automotive brake pads on certain muscle cars. This specifically affects certain 2021 Camaro variants with Brembo brakes.

Human feces in the streets? Overgrown forests contributing to larger wild fires? Anti-commerce red tape? The governor breaking his own lockdown edicts? No, no. Copper in a few car brakes are the real problem.

“Due to restrictions in California and Washington state related to copper brake pads, customers in those states cannot order a 2021 Camaro SS, ZL1 and 1LE for delivery after January 1, 2021,” said Chevrolet Communications Manager Kevin Kelly to MC&T. “Customers can, however, purchase these models from available dealer stock in those states.”

2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Image Via GM.

Kelly clarified to MC&T that other vehicles in the Chevrolet lineup are not affected. So C8 Corvette customers won’t have to worry. The only states affecting the 2021 Camaro in this regard are California and nearby Washington, for now.

“We will resume allowing customers in California and Washington state to order the Camaro SS, ZL1 and 1LE models in 2022 model year when we introduce a new brake system that is compliant with the copper requirements,” said Kelly.

Crosstown rivals Ford and Dodge were aware of the upcoming regulatory change, but were able to adjust to copper-free brakes in time for their respective muscle cars to be affected.

2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Heritage Edition
Image copyright Manoli Katakis, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

“Trust and environmental responsibility is paramount at Ford Motor Company, and we are always ensuring that our vehicles meet or exceed federal and state regulatory guidelines. Mustang, the world’s best-selling sports car, has a copper-free brake system for 2021 model year, meeting the new regulatory requirements in California and Washington, and ensuring our faithful fans as well as future enthusiasts can purchase and enjoy the fast, fun and affordability of our iconic muscle car,” said Ford Mustang Communications Manager Berj Alexanian to MC&T.

FCA was also proactive in the regulatory change for its muscle cars. The Dodge Charger, Challenger and Durango R/T and SRT models all received updates for the 2021 model year to go copper free in their brake systems. A formal statement from Dodge was not available at the time of this writing.

Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet all use Brembo brakes for their respective performance models. Why GM was unable to adjust to the change in time with the 2021 Camaro when others managed to do so is unclear at this time. It’s more puzzling considering that these laws were enacted a full decade ago, signed into law by Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the time. Automakers had a full decade to adjust.

2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Brembo Brakes Carbon Fiber Wheels
Photo via Ford

Copper from the brake pads, as it was found in studies, turns into dust particles, and finds its way into waterways. Such levels of copper are toxic to many water-dwelling creatures, including fish, plants, and amphibians, which eventually works its way up the food chain, much like mercury in fish. The law details that brake pads sold in California (and Washington) couldn’t have more than 5 percent copper by weight. That number reduces to just 0.5 percent copper by weight by 2025.

Copper is used in brakes because of the metal’s ability to quickly and effectively dissipate heat, and allow for smooth braking.

Although the rule was put in place in only two states for now, trade groups representing the auto industry signed an agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015 to phase out the use of copper in brake pads completely. The groups signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) proclaiming that the auto industry would implement the “Copper-Free Brake Initiative.” Demonstrating awareness of the matter, General Motors was a member of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group that signed the MOU.

According to Car & Driver, a spokesperson from Brembo confirms that the company currently makes copper-free brake pads, but nevertheless does still make pads with copper, and it’s ultimately up to the automakers to comply with regulations.

Dodge SRT Lineup in Family Motto Ad 2021 Challenger Charger Durango
Image Via FCA.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.


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  1. A request: Exactly what are the equipment & tune differences from CA to non-CARB states, for recent Camaros & 1500 V6s? I’d like to avoid a CARB vehicle purchase anyway, but want to know.

  2. Boy, you people in Cali are a bunch of suckers. All of the social, environmental, and debt problems your government has, and there are actually state employees wasting their time with craq like this?

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