The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) says vehicle owners and repairers should be aware of the “increasingly virulent” counterfeit market.
Brand protection firm Corsearch says the flourishing online counterfeit car parts market puts Australian road users at higher risk of harm from low quality fake parts that may be fitted to their vehicles without their knowledge.
Corsearch says it monitors the volume of counterfeit vehicle part listings on e-commerce platforms, helping brands to enforce ‘take down’ requests. The organisation reports that listings of counterfeit car parts have increased substantially over 2020.
“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in both counterfeit car parts, as well as fake branded accessories for some of our automotive clients,” said Daniel Bennett, President of Brand Protection at Corsearch.
“Counterfeits are designed to deceive,” said Tony Weber, Chief Executive of the FCAI. “We have seen technicians unwittingly fit counterfeit parts to customer cars before. Do not take risks with the supply of vehicle parts. Go through your local dealer and remember genuine is best,” said Weber.
According to the FCAI, counterfeit spark plugs were the most recent type of part added to the list of fake parts encountered by the organisation. Others include counterfeit oil filters that do not filter oil, wheels that shatter in low-speed pothole impacts, brake components containing asbestos and in one case, brake pads made of compressed grass clippings.
The FCAI says vehicle owners who are concerned they have been sold a counterfeit vehicle part can lodge a report on its Genuine is Best website at genuineisbest.com.au/report-suspicious-parts/. The organisation added that reports are investigated by the appropriate brand and, if relevant, shared with IP enforcement officers at the Department of Home Affairs.