2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye
Patrick Rall's picture

Dodge Challenger, Charger V8 Models are Legal in California for 2021

Dodge prepared for the latest restrictions in California, switching popular models like the Challenger and Charger Scat Pack and Hellcat to copper-free brake pads, keeping them legal for sale in states with the toughest environmental guidelines.
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Earlier this month, the news that the Chevrolet Camaro SS and ZL1 would not be sold in California and Washington quickly spread across social media. The V8-powered Camaros with the Brembo brake package have brake pads with copper content and as of the start of the 2021 calendar year, new cars with copper-based brake pads are no longer legal in those two states. As a result, starting on January 1st, residents of California and Washington will no longer be able to order a new Camaro SS or ZL1 for purchase, although they can buy vehicles that are already in local dealer inventory.

Chevrolet is planning to introduce new brake pads for 2022, but those cars aren’t likely to arrive until late in the 2021 calendar year. Until then, folks in California and Washington can’t purchase a Camaro SS or ZL1. That got some Dodge fans wondering if the Challenger and Charger models with Brembo brakes would also be forbidden for the 2021 model year, but unlike General Motors, Dodge planned ahead, switching to new Brembo brake pads that are copper-free. In fact, the 2021 Charger Redeye that I track tested last month was equipped with the new pads and they perform just as well as the copper pads.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Copper Brake Pad Law
Effective as of January 1st, 2021, new cars with brake pads containing copper are no longer legal for sale in California and Washington. This does not include vehicles that are in dealer inventory prior to January 1st, so a Camaro SS at your local dealership today will still be legal for sale in a few weeks. However, as of January 1st, if you live in California, the only way that you can buy a Camaro SS or ZL1 is to find one that has been in dealer inventory since before the first of the year.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

The problem with this new law is that many vehicles with Brembo braking systems have pads that contain copper. Prior to 2021, that included the Dodge Challenger and Charger in Scat Pack and Hellcat form. In fact, I put new Brembo pads on my 2017 Hellcat Challenger recently and the copper content was obvious. That copper content led many Mopar fans to question whether or not gearheads in California and Washington will be able to order a high performance Dodge Challenger or Charger next year.

Fortunately for prospective Mopar muscle car buyers, the answer is yes.

No Copper in 2021 Dodge Brake Pads
I confirmed this morning that for the 2021 model year, the Dodge Challenger and Charger models with Brembo braking setups will come with copper-free brake pads. This change was made across the entire lineup of both vehicles in preparation for the new restrictions in 2021, so sales of Hemi-powered models like the Scat Pack, Hellcat and Redeye will continue on as normal through the New Year.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

As mentioned above, I was fortunate enough to be involved with the initial media testing for the 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye and I can say without question that the new, copper-free brake pads offer the braking force that you expect from a Brembo high performance system.

2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

Chevrolet plans to roll out copper-free Brembo brake pads for 2022, but in the meantime, residents of California and Washington can buy a Hemi-powered performance car in 2021.


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