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Headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, Advance Auto Parts, Inc. is a leading specialty retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items. Founded in 1929 as Advance Stores, LLC., the company was purchased by Arthur Taubman in 1932 with the vision of building a multi-state chain of auto and home supply stores. Taubman’s vision of mulit-state growth became a reality in 1938 as the store expanded into North Carolina. By 1969, there were 54 Advance stores in four states. In 1972 the company announced a plan to transition from a variety store into a specialty auto parts chain. This transition was marked by the company’s name change to Advance Auto in 1974 and later to Advance Auto Parts in 1985 – thus, establishing the company’s dedication to automotive parts.

By the time of Taubman’s passing in 1994, Advance Auto Parts was operating over 300 stores in eight states with 5,000 employees. After several acquisitions over the next few years (Western Auto Supply Company/Parts America [1998], Carport Auto Parts [2001], and Discount Auto Parts, Inc. [2001]), Advance ended the year of 2001 with 2,484 stores in 38 states and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AAP. Cited by Forbes Magazine in 2005 as the “Best Managed Retail Company in America,” Advance has evolved to its present day operations of more than 3,500 stores in 39 continental states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands with an employee base of 51,000 team members. As Advance Auto Parts, Inc. continues to transform its business, it remains focused on four key strategies for growth: commercial acceleration, do-it-yourself transformation, availability excellence, and superior experience.

Products Manufactured by Advance Auto Parts, Inc. that Contained Asbestos

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral composed of strong, flexible fibers, was widely used in many industrial products due to its durability and resistance to heat. Once the health risks became evident and asbestos became recognized as a known carcinogen, its use was banned in most products by the late 1970s.

Advance Auto Parts, Inc. and some of its subsidiaries have been named as defendants in lawsuits alleging injury as a result of exposure to asbestos-containing products sold by the company (and its subsidiaries). Automotive products sold by Advance Auto Parts, Inc. that may have contained asbestos include (but may not be limited to):

  • Brake and clutch parts
  • Roofing materials

Occupations at Risk for Asbestos Exposure from Advance Auto Parts Products

Exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other respiratory diseases. Individuals at risk for occupational exposure to asbestos with regard to products sold by Advance Auto Parts, Inc. include:

Auto Mechanics: These individuals often experienced prolonged exposure to harmful asbestos dust and fibers in their occupation. Due to the natural ability of asbestos to resist heat, it was often used in automotive parts, including: brake linings, disc brake pads, drum brake linings, brake blocks, and clutch facings, among other products. Brake and clutch replacement/maintenance, a common job for auto mechanics, usually required the grinding down of asbestos parts which resulted in the release of airborne dust and fibers.

Retail Store Employees/Distributors: Those employed by Advance Auto Parts, Inc. in the sale and/or distribution of asbestos products may be at an increased risk for the development of asbestos-related diseases. Daily contact with asbestos products and the potential release of harmful asbestos fibers place these occupations in an at-risk group for asbestos exposure.

Car Owners: Car owners who may have purchased brake and clutch parts from Advance Auto Parts, Inc. to perform their own auto maintenance/repairs may also be at risk for asbestos exposure.

Recent News

Advance Auto Parts, Inc. reported $5.93 billion in total sales for the 52 week period ending January 1, 2011 – reflecting an increase from $5.41 billion for the 52 week period ending January 2, 2010. The company attributed the sales increase to the addition of 143 new stores over the course of 2010. Advance Auto Parts, Inc. outlook for 2011 includes the opening of 120-140 new stores with an anticipated low to mid single-digit increase in comparable store sales.

Written By

Tara Strand Senior Content Writer

Tara Strand specializes in researching and writing about asbestos, raising awareness and advocating for a ban.

Full Bio Editorial Guidelines
Reviewed By

Jennifer Lucarelli Legal Advisor and Contributor

Jennifer Lucarelli is a partner at the law firm of Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen, specializing in asbestos litigation.

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