Counterfeit parts with Toyota branding found in China
Toyota Australia worked with Chinese police to discover a counterfeit parts manufacturing operation.
The FCAI (Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries) has announced that around 33,000 counterfeit parts have been found during a police raid in of large-scale manufacturing facility at Guangzhou, China. The FCAI also says there “were around 55,000 packages branded as Toyota Genuine Parts, complete with barcodes and serial numbers.”
Out of this haul it is not known what percentage of the parts were destined for Australia.
The company concerned was also “known to manufacture car parts counterfeiting those of other Japanese automotive brands” according to the FCAI.
Toyota Australia has taken two Australian retailers to court for selling counterfeit airbag components. Information discovered as part of this action led to the Guangzhou raid, and the involvement of Toyota in China.
In a win for consumers, the two Australian retailers selling fake goods agreed to contact all affected customers and offer them a refund.
FCAI chief executive officer Tony Weber said: “It offers a clear reminder to consumers that just because they see a branded box, bag or label they shouldn’t assume they’re buying a genuine part. The way to avoid safety concerns posed by fake parts is to ensure you or your repairer sources genuine replacement parts from the vehicle maker’s authorised supply chain”.
Toyota is not the only carmarker with a counterfeiting problem. The FCAI noted that Ford Australia has also intercepted fake parts, including alloy rims to suit high-performance FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) models and air intake snorkels and grilles for the Ranger light commercial, while Holden has seized counterfeit parts including body panels, alloy rims, grilles, taillights and radiators.
Practical Motoring says:
Counterfeit car parts are not only a threat to all sectors of the honest industry, but a very real safety concern because such parts are almost certainly be sub-standard and therefore dangerous. Critical components like brakepads are bad enough, but there might at least be a chance you’d notice a difference. However, airbags are even more of a problem because you’d never know there was a problem until too late. And even if fake parts aren’t safety-critical then you’re still being ripped off, and contributing to fraud.
We have fully covered different types of parts, and how to protect yourself in our Car Parts article.