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FCAI launches genuine parts campaign

New consumer website funded by FCAI encourages the use of genuine parts

2 Jun 2015

THE Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) has launched a consumer website alerting new-car buyers to the dangers of purchasing non-genuine parts.

The FCAI, which represents the interests of local car-makers and full-line importers, has funded the development of the website, which uses animations to promote the importance of genuine parts for your car.

Genuineisbest.com.au highlights the safety benefits of using original parts in crash repairs or during service and maintenance, given they are made or chosen by the car-maker and “rigorously tested” to meet the highest quality and safety standards, thereby ensuring the vehicle will “will drive, function and protect you the way it was intended”.

The website features six steps to ensuring the consumer chooses genuine parts, as well as how to obtain the parts and the benefits of quality repairs.

The move follows the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association's (AAAA) push last year to clarify the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) statements, debating whether independent repairer work invalidates a vehicle warranty.

The ACCC statement suggested manufacturer's warranties should not become void in this instance, but the AAAA called for further clarification at the time.

FCAI chief executive and Genuine Is Best spokesperson Tony Weber said approved genuine parts help keep drivers and passengers safe, while non-genuine or counterfeit parts do not offer the same quality.

“The Genuine Is Best website equips Australians with the information they need to help ensure they have genuine parts fitted to their car so that it drives, functions and protects them exactly the way it was intended to by the car maker,” he said.

“Keeping your car safe and reliable begins with knowing what a genuine part is – a genuine part is new and comes approved or recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.

“A genuine part is made or selected by the vehicle maker and is tested as an integral component of the vehicle to ensure quality and safety. Non-genuine parts can’t necessarily promise this quality and safety.” The website details the types of non-genuine parts that can be purchased, including parallel parts that are produced by the car-maker, or at least with its approval, but are not produced for Australian-spec vehicles, which poses a risk as they may not fit the vehicle properly or safely.

Counterfeit parts are illegal imitations that can be sold as genuine and can deceive buyers by including a car-maker's branding or serial numbers. The FCAI says on the website that these can pose a risk as they can be poorly manufactures using “sub-standard materials”.

According to the website, parts salvaged from damaged cars and repurposed for use in the repair of other vehicles can also pose a risk. However, the website says reused parts could be used if the original car-maker has remanufactured genuine parts to its own specifications.

The sentiments of the FCAI are mirrored by Mercedes Benz Australia/Pacific, which has previously accused insurers that authorise the use non-genuine parts as having “blood on their hands”.

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