Counterfeit car parts continue to be an issue on both sides of the ditch, according to experts in both Australia and New Zealand.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has today published a study into the trade of counterfeit car parts in Australia, revealing that over half of so-called genuine parts sold online are counterfeits. According to its figures 62 per cent of parts sold online are fakes, made difficult to filter out by virtue of improvements to counterfeit packaging.
The investigation says that these parts are coming into Australia under the cover of being imported alongside aftermarket parts, making them difficult to trace.
The investigation tested six different import suppliers who were selling parts to both trade companies as well as to private buyers. It found 28 different forms of counterfeit goods, including grilles, keys, spark plugs, air filters, oil filters, and more.
“Each of these shipments imported a part that could ruin your day,” said FCAI chief executive Tony Weber. “The fact they were carefully concealed among other non-genuine parts indicates the level of deception these criminals are going to, just to hoodwink honest drivers who think they’re getting the real deal.
“We’re talking about low quality, criminally manufactured and distributed parts designed to deceive. We’ve done the testing, and we know these counterfeits will at best leave you with major repair bills. My message – be aware of the parts being fitted to your car. Get your car serviced by your local dealer. They will always use genuine parts. If you go independent, ask the question: Will you use genuine parts, and can I see the receipts please.”
Speaking to NZ Autocar, Motor Industry Association CEO David Crawford said counterfeit car parts remain an issue in New Zealand. This comes after an investigation last October found that Auckland-based firm A&W Autospares would perform similar counterfeit measures to those reported above — importing fake goods before packaging them and selling them as authentic.
“We are not immune to this issue in New Zealand,” Crawford said. “I draw the distinction between third party products and counterfeit products. The MIA has a policy of encouraging owners to use genuine parts and in the past this has meant we advocated their use over third party products.
“However, in the last 18 months we have become increasingly aware of parts being manufactured overseas, imported into NZ and then labelled as genuine parts, i.e. counterfeit parts.
“This trend is worrying and when we become aware of specific examples at a brand or multiple brand level I liaise with those brands who in turn take legal action, often including recourse to the Commerce Commission under their legislation.”
A January 18 report from Autofile indicated that just the New Zealand Motor Trade Association was aware of only one recent case of alleged supply of counterfeit parts, being the aforementioned A&W Autospares story. However, Holden and IAG were reported to have standing complaints that are currently under investigation.