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      12-05-2012, 04:59 AM   #1
annalisa_ferri
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Thumbs down ECS brake rotors for BMW: MADE IN …CHINA !!!

Hi folks,

This is to share my personal experience with the ECS products, and the (not so) little things that you discover only if you buy something from these apparently cool guys in Wadsworth, OH.

Many 135i owners are looking for the same thing: a good set of drilled rotors to replace the stock, boring BMW plain discs. To find something good on the market without going for hyper-expansive BBK kits (like the Brembo racing) or staying on the BMW Performance line (expansive and hard to find for the rear axle), is definitely not an easy task. Surfing the internet I run into the ECS products, and God dammit…they got them! The specs are amazing:

• Front: 2-piece semi-floating construction, anodized Aluminum hats, gray cast iron rings, heat treated, drilled and slotted, directional veins – only $ 450 per pair!
• Rear: drilled and slotted, anti-rust treatment – only $ 136 per pair!

Considering that they are a bolt-on mod, it sounded an exceptional chance to secure a perfect set for a very good price. In addition to this, ECS highlights the high quality of their products with lots of proud: “superior performance”, “real world benefits” and “never compromises” are slogans spread all over the range descriptions, and work well in giving you the confidence you are looking for.

Therefore, I bought them.

The surprise arrives when you open the box: you discover that the front pair is manufactured in Taiwan, and the rear in China!!! Have a look to the invoice I have attached if you don’t believe me.

Jesus, I live one hundred miles from the German border and I ended up buying Chinese rotors in the US (and paid 200+ Dollars to have them shipped to Europe)! This is not a joke, guys.

After the purchase (unfortunately too late) I immediately contacted the ECS online customer support asking for clarifications; the first answer was totally inconsistent, since they stated that their rotors are manufactured in the US. Have a look to the exchange we had on this first try (attached), bearing in mind that all the reported correspondence has been written only AFTER the purchase was completed and the rotors already at home (unfortunately).

What should I derive from this? At best, not all ECS people seem not to know the true story about the products they sell.

Of course, I didn’t stop here. The following is the second run of email exchange with their sales department; as you can see I tried to be gentle but asked very precise questions at the same time:

My question:
"Dear Sir/Madam,
looking at your brake rotors for my BMW 135i (ES#2550968 and ES#2539490), I noticed that no DOT or TUV approval is mentioned.
Being brake parts very important for vehicle safety, I wonder what quality standard is applied in producing those discs.
Can you please explain where those rotors are manufactured, and what quality check they have to pass before being sold?
Best regards”

ECS answer:
“Thank you for your interest for additional information regarding ES#2550968 and ES#2539490.
DOT and TUV approval
All rotors sold by ECS Tuning are compliant with DOT standards.
Rotor Manufacturing
ECS Tuning GEOMET rotor blanks are sourced domestically from vendors who have worldwide manufacturing operations. Many of the rotor blanks originate from Italy, Turkey, Brazil and Asia but each part number may have a different country of origin. Engineering design, machine work and coating take place in the United States through our preferred manufacturing partners.
Quality Control
ECS Tuning is dedicated to selling safe, reliable and high performing products. For this reason, all ECS Tuning products are subject to a Quality Inspection process to ensure we are selling products that live up to these high expectations.
Thank you”

My question:
“Hi,
thanks for the reply.
You mention the GEOMET rotors only. Is this valid also for the 2-piece rotors?
Best regards”

ECS answer:
“Correct. This is a valid statement for both GEOMET and the ECS 2-Piece rotor with the exception of the coating. The 2-Piece rotors are not coated as the GEOMET rotors are.
Thanks”

In this second round they admit that rotors arrive from various countries and, funny enough, they list “Asia” instead of being more precise and write down that they buy from China and Taiwan.

I’m sorry guys, but there is no check that you can do in house to replace the quality control that has to be made in the production lines that actually manufacture the rotors. This is done (if ever) in the Chineese or Taiwanese plant. That’s it. Then you can perform a very good drilling or a superior coating in the US, but this will be done on a piece of metal which has been possibly subject to uncontrolled heat treatments, uncertain forming and unknown handling; and this piece of metal will take soon the shape of your rotor.

But let’s have a look to the third attempt to communicate with them, to show you there is no way to convince them that this information is not the kind of thing you can forget in the product description:

My question:
“Dear ECS support,
it is with disappointment that I write this email.
I just received my rotors and discovered that they are manufactured in China and Taiwan; not exactly great for a company which claims “superior performance”, “real world benefits” and “never compromises" for its products.
I will do my best to inform the tuners and enthusiast community about this to the maximum extent possible. People should know what you actually sell.
With regards”

ECS answer:
“Thanks for writing. Yes, you are correct that some of our products are manufactured in countries across the world, which should be of no surprise as many companies have products manufactured in countries throughout the world. We will tell our customers where any product is manufactured if he or she asks. If you were concerned with the manufacturing location of the products, we may only recommend that you contact a seller with those inquiries in the future.
If you have any other questions, feel free to ask”

My question:
“Dear ECS support,
yes, nowadays outsourcing is normal, and I would not mind if you procure items from countries with a proven record of quality in automotive products like Germany or Italy.
I do mind if your providers are located in China and Taiwan, and it is useless to say why. We are not dealing with spoilers or floor mats. We are talking about semi-floating brakes of a 170+ mph car.
Since you seem to be very confident in what you say, you won't mind if I spread this information around, won't you?
Best regards”

ECS answer:
“As we have mentioned before, we will tell any customer where our products are made if he or she asks. If the country of origin was a concern of yours, than you should and could have asked the question prior to submitting the order. If this is that big of a concern for you, than return them for a refund.
Let us know what you want to do. Thanks!”


So, ECS position is very clear: they feel like where the rotors are manufactured is not important, the only relevant thing is where they are machined or coated, and they will disclose this information only upon request. Ah, ah, you prefer not to write “China” or “Taiwan” in your site, eh? If this is not a critical issue, I wonder why not being really transparent and write down all the info the (potential) buyers need to conclude on the product.

Of course, I’m not going to put their rotors on my car, neither to ship them bak to the US at my own expenses (225 USD...), but you can understand my disappointment when discovering that my beloved trust in the quality of the US products and in the commitment of the US customer care has not been confirmed this time.
Only after, I discovered that ECS was known already for selling cheap Chinese-made stuff, especially for Audi and Volkswagen: just google ECS+China, scroll 2 or 3 pages, and you may discover also which are their suppliers in that countries. Unfortunately, I made this search too late.

Take your own conclusions, guys.

From my point of view, the more I buy around, the more I see that the motto “You got what you paid for” is tremendously true.

Cheers
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Last edited by annalisa_ferri; 12-05-2012 at 06:49 PM. Reason: clarification needed based on member's feedback
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      12-05-2012, 06:01 AM   #2
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This needs to be stickied ASAP!
Thank you for writing this! I was just about to grab a set from them, thank god I didnt'! If you are looking for some quality drilled and slotted rotors, check out 88rotors. They have warranties that cover one year for premature warping and lifetime against cracking! I'm not sure were they are manufactured and what not but I've had them on for about a year now on my e90 and other friends of mine said they haven't even gotten close to having the rotors warp or crack even after 5 years of harsh racing conditions. Its only around 300 for the front and rears! The only problem that I seen with them is if you spray off the anti corrosion coating, it really does rust
Other than that, they're amazing. I've went thru 2 brake pad changes and it only has a tiny tiny lip. They don't wear out fast like oem but fit to oem specs 100%. They're ready for direct swap even on stock pads and calipers etc.
http://www.88rotors.com/catalogsearc.../?q=135+rotors
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      12-05-2012, 06:11 AM   #3
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They look very nice - and the price is superb!
But based on my experience with ECS, I would ask 88rotors very clearly where do they manufacture/machine them.
Good luck!
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      12-05-2012, 01:45 PM   #4
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If you guys are that concerned about braking quality and safety then why are you trying to source rotors that have been unnecessarily machined (drilled) in the first place? Just get a quality set of blanks and be done with it. Either that, or spend the money on a rotor where all of this work is, for sure, done in house. There was nothing misleading about any of that correspondence; they plainly said that their rotors could come from anywhere in the world and then they get machined by a third party on top of that, which is enough of a red flag to stay away, if you so choose.

Low Cost / Form / Function - you can only pick two. Either that, or be prepared to pay the big bucks and not complain about it after the fact...

Last edited by FCobra94; 12-05-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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      12-05-2012, 02:00 PM   #5
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This is why you search and find out. Its good you made this thread up when I was looking at zimmerman rotors i wanted to see some feedback from users. I never bought from ECS Tuning but i hear mixed reviews from them anyways.
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      12-05-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
they plainly said that their rotors could come from anywhere in the world and then they get machined by a third party on top of that, which is enough of a red flag to stay away, if you so choose
Not exactly: what you have read has been written only AFTER the purchase was completed and I had the rotors at home already...
Hence my "complaints"
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      12-05-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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while china has a bunch of knock offs. I think every country makes some sort of crap. CRAPPY FUEL PUMPS FROM BOSCH (ger), CRAPPY MUSTANGS FROM FORD(us) although theyre improving, problem ferrari's from italy, crappy electronics from bmw and the list goes on.
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      12-05-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tres View Post
while china has a bunch of knock offs. I think every country makes some sort of crap. CRAPPY FUEL PUMPS FROM BOSCH (ger), CRAPPY MUSTANGS FROM FORD(us) although theyre improving, problem ferrari's from italy, crappy electronics from bmw and the list goes on.
Totally true. There will always be some problem with quality, despite a given product is high-end.
But potential issues with brakes have to be highlighted to the maximum extent, imho.
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      12-05-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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Just because something is made in China, doesn't mean it's garbage, or does it:

I wonder where a company like Stoptech makes their rotors:

Quote:
StopTech® AeroRotors® are 100% made in the USA, with both casting and machining taking place in California.
Sweet, made in USA! Scroll through the rest of their types of rotors and weird, that's not on the other descriptions:

http://stoptech.com/products/rotors

Quick Google search verifies that they make them in China. Fuck 'em, Stoptech makes shitty brakes any way.


From Brembo's website:

Quote:
BREMBO NANJING BRAKE SYSTEMS CO. LTD.
NANJING
Production and sale of braking systems for cars and commercial vehicles.

BREMBO CHINA BRAKE SYSTEMS CO. LTD.
BEIJING
Production and sale of brake discs for cars. Promotion and development of the Chinese market.
http://www.brembo.com/en/il-gruppo/B...s/default.aspx

But Brembo isn't a very good brake company any way.
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      12-05-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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Taiwan manufactures are pretty good, level with euro/us production units.

CN depends on provider. Can be the worst POS or indistinguishable from euro/us quality, you just never know. Now, you are getting a "brand name", they are supposed to do quality control, you trust the brand or you don't, but the original manufacture doesn't really matter in that case.
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      12-05-2012, 02:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamben158 View Post
Just because something is made in China, doesn't mean it's garbage, or does it:

I wonder where a company like Stoptech makes their rotors:



Sweet, made in USA! Scroll through the rest of their types of rotors and weird, that's not on the other descriptions:

http://stoptech.com/products/rotors

Quick Google search verifies that they make them in China. Fuck 'em, Stoptech makes shitty brakes any way.


From Brembo's website:


http://www.brembo.com/en/il-gruppo/B...s/default.aspx

But Brembo isn't a very good brake company any way.
Many do outsourcing, of course. Many other not.
But you forget a little, little point.
Lets just take Brembo: yes, they have plants also in China, but what they do is having the metal formed, treated and machined there up to the last production step. And all done by direct engineering/supervision by Brembo's people there.
Would you think ECS has resident staff in Shenzhen to perform the quality control on the production line before the shipping to the US? Don't think so...
Then:
Brembo (or equivalent level) = outstanding, wherever the plant is
Others (many) = questionable if procured where the quality standard are known to be...questionable

If you then want to ask me my why I din't buy Brembos...the answer is !

Last edited by annalisa_ferri; 12-05-2012 at 02:55 PM. Reason: typo
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      12-05-2012, 03:37 PM   #12
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look guys...i have the ecs slotted rotors and they are fantastic...i drive hard as hell over heating my brakes all the time and they have not warped.

and also they do not really rust at all...even between the wheel and brake hub. seriously guys who cares where it really is made as long as the product is well made.

if there have been problems with ecs rotors then there would have been many threads about it already...plus how hard could it really be making rotors? its just a solid piece of metal.

i really dont know why the op is complaining really because if he wanted the best he should have just bought the most EXPENSIVE rotors out there =)...doesnt germany make some kind of crazy engineered rotor anyway?
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      12-05-2012, 03:57 PM   #13
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Honestly, buying a part that is made in China is really not something to be surprised of. Heck, most, if not all of the components from your computer is made in China, too.

Now, I understand you came into buying the parts with the expectation of quality. But just because something is manufactured in China does not necessary mean it's not a quality item. It's really based on the source and vendor. I think that's what you should be asking ECS, on what basis or what are somethings they do to ensure quality control when they source their parts out to China.

On the other hand, Taiwan manufacturing is much more mature than China and I would have less of a problem with parts coming from Taiwan as being a quality part.

In the end, I think when you buy a budget part. Your expectations should match the amount of $ you put into it. It would be the best if ECS discloses all of these things upfront and not do pull any of this marketing jargon. However, if you haven't realized, the McDonald's burgers on the pictures look a lot better than the actual thing that goes into your stomach. It's really just marketing in the end. Sad, but true.
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      12-05-2012, 04:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jyeah View Post
Honestly, buying a part that is made in China is really not something to be surprised of. Heck, most, if not all of the components from your computer is made in China, too.

Now, I understand you came into buying the parts with the expectation of quality. But just because something is manufactured in China does not necessary mean it's not a quality item. It's really based on the source and vendor. I think that's what you should be asking ECS, on what basis or what are somethings they do to ensure quality control when they source their parts out to China.

On the other hand, Taiwan manufacturing is much more mature than China and I would have less of a problem with parts coming from Taiwan as being a quality part.

In the end, I think when you buy a budget part. Your expectations should match the amount of $ you put into it. It would be the best if ECS discloses all of these things upfront and not do pull any of this marketing jargon. However, if you haven't realized, the McDonald's burgers on the pictures look a lot better than the actual thing that goes into your stomach. It's really just marketing in the end. Sad, but true.
For sure, one of the most sensible answer I have had.
More a lack of complete information than a lack of quality.
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      12-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #15
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annalisa,

Situation:
· Action: After you purchased and received your order of ECS GEOMET® Rotors and ECS Tuning 2-Piece Rotors you contacted multiple departments here at ECS Tuning asking the same questions concerning specific details regarding our rotor manufacturing.
o Result: ECS Tuning responded to all inquiries in a timely and professional manner.

· Action: You brought to ECS Tuning's attention that you were given incorrect information about the Country of Origin of a product.
o Result: We quickly clarified to you that not all ECS rotors are manufactured in the United States. Additional training has since been performed with our staff to address any further confusion on this topic.

· Action: You contacted our Customer Service department expressing your unhappiness with your purchase.
o Result: Our Customer Service department offered you a refund if you are not satisfied with the product in which you received.
§ Result: You declined and threatened to go on the forums with this information. In our opinion we have nothing to hide so here we are….....
Summary:

We do apologize that the rotors do not meet your Country of Origin expectations but we can assure you that you would be more than pleased with their performance. We sell our rotors all over the world and have received a lot of praise and positive reviews on both their performance and cosmetics



ECS GEOMET® Rotors


Our ECS GEOMET® Rotor blanks are sourced domestically from vendors who have worldwide manufacturing operations. A majority of our rotor blanks originate from Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Asia, Mexico among others, but each part number may have a different country of origin. The rotors are designed in house by our Research & Development department and machine work / GEOMET® coating are preformed to our specification in the United States through our preferred manufacturing partners.



ECS Tuning 2-Piece Rotors


Our ECS Tuning 2-Piece Rotors are engineered by our Research & Development department and manufactured to our specifications in both the United States (95% of our applications) and Taiwan (5% of our applications) depending on the application. We have designed our ECS Tuning 2-Piece rotor line to include the features of a much more expensive multi-piece rotor at an affordable price point. Countless hours of engineering, testing and quality control measures were invested into this product line to ensure the ECS Tuning product goals were accomplished.



Country of Origin of Website

In response to your request that we list the Country of Origin on all products, we will definitely take this suggestion into consideration. However, we are in compliance with all Federal Trade Commission regulations and take this topic very seriously. If any customers would like additional information on the origins of a product, please contact our Sales Department at 800.924.5172.



Any further questions can be directed to us via PM or contact our Customer Service Department at 800.924.5172.



Happy Braking!

Last edited by ECSTuning; 12-05-2012 at 04:20 PM.
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      12-05-2012, 04:33 PM   #16
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I for one am less concerned with the country of origin of the product than I am with the quality of the product.

Does anyone have any objective data about these brake rotors from ECS?
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      12-05-2012, 04:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
annalisa,
Situation:
• Action: After you purchased and received your order of ECS GEOMET® Rotors and ECS Tuning 2-Piece Rotors you contacted multiple departments here at ECS Tuning asking the same questions concerning specific details regarding our rotor manufacturing.
o Result: ECS Tuning responded to all inquiries in a timely and professional manner.
Absolutely true; the efficiency of your customer service is not under question
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
• Action: You brought to ECS Tuning’s attention that you were given incorrect information about the Country of Origin of a product.
o Result: We quickly clarified to you that not all ECS rotors are manufactured in the United States. Additional training has since been performed with our staff to address any further confusion on this topic.
Very good, there is always room for improvement
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
• Action: You contacted our Customer Service department expressing your unhappiness with your purchase.
o Result: Our Customer Service department offered you a refund if you are not satisfied with the product in which you received.
§ Result: You declined
To return the set at my own expenses doesn't sound a real solution to me; may I recall that I paid 225 USD for the shipping?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
and threatened to go on the forums with this information. In our opinion we have nothing to hide so here we are….
Not true, dear. The scope is not threaten anybody, but to exchange opinions with other users, inform and being informed. I don't have anything to hide as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
Summary:
We do apologize that the rotors do not meet your Country of Origin expectations but we can assure you that you would be more than pleased with their performance. We sell our rotors all over the world and have received a lot of praise and positive reviews on both their performance and cosmetics
Maybe you missed it, but there isn't a single word here (and elsewhere) about the performance of your rotors. Simply this is not the topic. The issue is the level of information and the quality control.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
ECS GEOMET® Rotors
Our ECS GEOMET® Rotor blanks are sourced domestically from vendors who have worldwide manufacturing operations. A majority of our rotor blanks originate from Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Asia, Mexico among others, but each part number may have a different country of origin. The rotors are designed in house by our Research & Development department and machine work / GEOMET® coating are preformed to our specification in the United States through our preferred manufacturing partners.
ECS Tuning 2-Piece Rotors
Our ECS Tuning 2-Piece Rotors are engineered by our Research & Development department and manufactured to our specifications in both the United States (95% of our applications) and Taiwan (5% of our applications) depending on the application. We have designed our ECS Tuning 2-Piece rotor line to include the features of a much more expensive multi-piece rotor at an affordable price point. Countless hours of engineering, testing and quality control measures were invested into this product line to ensure the ECS Tuning product goals were accomplished.
This is already a bit more specific than what is currently in your description; if you really are going to include what you list in the following lines (Country of Origin of Website), I think this would solve the issue, from my point of view.
Thanks for your contribution, it is always good to have both the points of view in the same place.
Happy machining, drilling and coating...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
Country of Origin of Website
In response to your request that we list the Country of Origin on all products, we will definitely take this suggestion into consideration. However, we are in compliance with all Federal Trade Commission regulations and take this topic very seriously. If any customers would like additional information on the origins of a product, please contact our Sales Department at 800.924.5172.
Any further questions can be directed to us via PM or contact our Customer Service Department at 800.924.5172.
Happy Braking!
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      12-05-2012, 04:38 PM   #18
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That further proves ECS being a class act up to this point...I guess not every single customer can be just as pleased as the next though

OP: try getting your facts straight BEFORE placing your order for parts in the future in order to avoid unnecessary disappointment.
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      12-05-2012, 04:40 PM   #19
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OP... If you arn't questioning their performance or quality of their rotors... Then whats the problem? Who gives a shit where they come from? I mean if anything... Your kind of crazy to buy "US products" and pay $230 just in shipping when you live in GERMANY lol...

Last edited by 620BMW325i; 12-05-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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      12-05-2012, 04:48 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
OP: try getting your facts straight BEFORE placing your order for parts in the future in order to avoid unnecessary disappointment.
For sure; maybe I will benefit a lot of the additional information that ECS is going to add to the descriptions...
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      12-05-2012, 04:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by 620BMW325i View Post
OP... If you arn't questioning their performance or quality of their rotors... Then whats the problem? Who gives a shit where they come from? I mean if anything... Your kind of crazy to buy "US products" and pay $230 just in shipping when you live in GERMANY lol...
Yes, I know this may seem quite an exotic choice...
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      12-05-2012, 06:33 PM   #22
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tl;dr: you fucked up, should have done your research BEFORE you bought. ECS sells good quality shit (personal experience). Nothing is wrong here other than you trying to make it seem like ECS screwed you when in fact you didn't make an informed purchase. They answered your questions and even offered you a refund. No need to go slandering a good vendor.
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