My 1995 Honda Civic required replacement of the front brakes at only 12,000 miles, and again at about 23,000. I thought that the brakes wearing out so quickly would indicate a mechanical problem.
My 21 year old son is the only one who drives the car, and I know that he drives with one foot and doesn't ride the brake pedal. Do you consider this normal brake wear, or is it an engineering flaw with the design of the brakes?
Both times the brakes were replaced at the Honda dealership I was told that everything checked out OK and it was considered normal wear and tear. I've been dealing with this service department for several years and they seem very honest and qualified.
The life span of brake linings varies greatly depending on the driving conditions involved. It basically boils down to the number of stops per mile, and the aggressiveness at which the brakes are applied. A driver who does a large amount of highway miles with long distances between stops will get significantly more miles out of a set of pads, than a driver who does a lot of around town driving consisting of very frequent stops.
12,000 miles can be considered normal wear and tear with a lot of stop and go driving. Over the years when looking at the driver's age to miles-per-brake job ratio, I have noticed significantly faster brake wear from the younger group. In other words, simply because your son drives with one foot doesn't mean he's not stomping on the brakes aggressively.