Advance Auto Parts was founded by Arthur Taubman in 1932 when he purchased a local chain of home & auto supply stores out of Roanoke, Virginia.  The chain was known at the time as Advance Stores, and they sold products such as toys, electronics, household appliances, as well as automotive parts.  When the retail landscape began to change in the 1970s the concept of shopping malls and big box stores gained popularity.  In response, Advance Stores narrowed its focus to the sales of automotive parts and accessories in order to position themselves to stand out as a specialty store.  Advance Stores Company changed their name to Advance Auto in 1974 and again in 1985 to Advance Auto Parts, as it is known today. In 1998, Advance Auto Parts purchased Western Auto Supply Company/Parts America, doubling the company’s size. Advance Auto Parts is the second largest publicly traded automotive parts chain in the United States with locations in Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Advance Auto Parts umbrella includes well-known brands such as CARQUEST, Auto Parts, WorldPac, Autopart International and DieHard.

Professional installers and do it yourself customers  patronized Advance Auto Parts, as well as predecessor Advance Stores.  Many of the parts purchased, notably friction products such as brake shoe linings, brake pads and clutch faces, were produced/manufactured with asbestos fibers as part of the composition.  The addition of asbestos with its ability to withstand high heat, added durability to these friction products and in some cases was incorporated through a portion of the 1990s.   

Auto mechanics were exposed to asbestos through friction products in several different ways.  When brake drums were removed during repair, it was common practice to use an air hose in order to remove the asbestos-containing brake dust.  When new brakes were installed, they were often sanded or ground down to better fit the contour of the drum, releasing asbestos dust into the air.  Even basic cleaning processes such as sweeping caused respirable asbestos fibers to become airborne.

Auto parts retailers and distributors were exposed to asbestos through handling and demonstrating a brake or clutch assembly to customers. Do it yourself mechanics who purchased and installed Advanced Auto Parts such as a brake or clutch pad also risked exposure to asbestos.

No matter the course or duration, any exposure to asbestos for any amount of time puts an individual at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Throughout the years, Advance Auto Parts sold many asbestos-containing automotive friction products that were manufactured and distributed by various companies such as Ford.  The customers who purchased these asbestos-containing friction products did so with little-to-no warning labels indicating the dangers they faced through the use and manipulation of these products; needlessly increasing the customer’s risk of developing mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Our clients understand the importance of securing legal representation as soon as possible after a diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung cancer.  If you or a loved one purchased and/or used asbestos-containing friction products from Advance Auto Parts, and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer, we urge you to contact us regarding your legal rights.



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