Asbestos possesses properties that are ideally suitable for use as a friction material in automotive and a number of other applications. Animal and human studies carried out since the early 1900s have established that asbestos is carcinogenic and that exposure to especially asbestos dust causes a large number of diseases. Realizing the health hazards posed by asbestos, many countries started phasing out asbestos from all asbestos-containing products since the 1980s. Some of them imposed a total ban in the 1990s on the use of asbestos-containing friction products. This situation forced many manufacturers to look for alternatives to asbestos. But the efforts have only been partly successful. The search is, therefore, still on to find suitable substitutes for asbestos. Though steel wool, Kevlar, glass, and a number of other mineral fibers have been tried out on an experimental basis over the last two decades, glass and Kevlar fibers, in particular, have shown promise as potential substitutes for asbestos. These days, therefore, studies on polymer-based friction materials reinforced with glass, Kevlar, and ceramic fibers are being pursued with much fervor. However, conflicting views are prevailing even today as to the suitability of asbestos-free composites for automotive applications and freedom from the concomitant health risks posed by them. In the present work, therefore, phenolic resin matrix samples reinforced with different amounts of glass and Kevlar fibers were produced and characterized for their mechanical, physical, friction, and wear properties to assess their suitability for light passenger car applications. The study establishes that composites based on glass and Kevlar fibers show good mechanical, physical, friction, and wear characteristics, enhancing thereby their suitability for automotive applications. The property improvements achieved are correlated to the composition, microstructure, and the changes taking place on the surface of the friction composites.