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Fake Toyota parts uncovered in China
Toyota Australia plays key role in seizure of some 33,000 counterfeit parts in China
30 May 2016
By IAN PORTER
TOYOTA Australia has mobilised connections in Japan and China in order to arrange the apprehension of a manufacturer of counterfeit spare parts in China.
The Chinese police found around 33,000 fake Toyota car parts when they raided a factory in Guangzhou City in the south-east of China.
The parts had a retail value of more than $1 million and included components like filters, cables, seals and also safety-critical items including airbags, brake master cylinders and brake pads.
Toyota Australia unearthed the details of the supply chain behind the fake parts during its successful Federal Court case last year against two local retailers who were selling counterfeit airbag components.
The two retailers had been selling counterfeit spiral airbag cables as genuine parts. The legal action was based on trademark infringement and misleading and deceptive conduct.
As part of the settlement, the two retailers had to alert all the people who had bought parts from them that the parts were not genuine, but Toyota was able to learn details about how the parts were manufactured and came to Australia.
That information led to the latest action.
Toyota Australia then passed on the information about the source manufacturer to Toyota headquarters in Japan, which co-ordinated the action against the manufacturer with its Chinese subsidiary.
Apart from the 33,000 parts, the Chinese police also found 55,000 packages all carrying the brand Toyota Genuine Parts and printed with barcodes and serial numbers.
Left: Counterfeit filters seized in a raid conducted by Chinese police in Guangzhou City.Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said all the local manufacturers had been subjected to fake parts scams.
“Recently 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,” Mr Weber said.
“Holden has seized counterfeit parts including body panels, alloy rims, grilles, tail-lights and radiators.”
The chamber has been running a ‘Genuine is Best’ campaign in a bid to alert consumers to the dangers of buying cheap spare parts from unusual sources.
Mr Weber said the biggest issue in fitting fake parts is the potential to compromise vehicle safety.
“While this seizure is shocking, sadly it’s not uncommon. Using counterfeit parts, knowingly or otherwise, means you are taking a huge risk,” he said.
“It offers a clear reminder to consumers that just because you see a branded box, bag or label they shouldn’t assume they are 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.”
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