U.S. automakers are working together to remove lead from vehicle electronics. A project team under The United States Council for Automotive Research - which includes Chrysler, Ford and GM - has developed a Lead-Free Solder Validation Test Plan. Developed through its Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP) program, the test plan was designed for suppliers of audio components, instrument clusters, engine controls and other electronic components.
The goal of the plan is to help these suppliers meet the requirements for all products manufactured by the automakers. Representatives from parts suppliers TRW and Lear Corp. joined the VRP Lead-Free Validation Team, which began work in April of last year. Among the challenges was sorting through the hundreds of tests and validation processes that each automaker requires suppliers to use.
The plan was designed to allow suppliers to test once for all three automakers. The consolidated test is expected to reduce costs and speed time-to-market. The plan also incorporates compliance with the European End-of-Life Vehicles directive.