The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has issued new guidance as part of a cross-government and industry campaign to warn of the serious dangers of fake car parts.
The most common fake vehicle parts worldwide include filters, brake pads, lights, wheel rims and air bags.
Dr Ros Lynch, director of copyright and enforcement at the Intellectual Property Office, said: “It’s clear counterfeit vehicle parts can pose a serious risk to drivers, passengers and other road users, with potentially life-threatening results.
“Criminals who produce counterfeit vehicle parts have no concerns about public safety and they use this as an opportunity to profit at the expense of others.”
Garages told to be vigilant
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has voiced its support to raise awareness about the risks posed by counterfeit car parts.
The IAAF is urging garage and motor factor businesses to be even more vigilant in light of this surge in reported cases, throwing its weight behind the IPO’s campaign aimed at highlighting the problem and the dangers of using counterfeit car parts.
Counterfeit car parts can affect both OEM and aftermarket businesses alike, as counterfeiters are growing more savvy in making the parts look identical to genuine ones.
Dangerous and substandard materials
IAAF chief executive Wendy Williamson has warned that whilst parts might look the same, they are unlikely to perform to the same standard and in many cases the counterfeits are produced using dangerous and substandard materials, which have not been properly tested.
The campaign also extends to consumers, and the care they should take when buying car parts, particularly the risks associated with parts being bought online to fit themselves or purchasing to then ask garages to fit them.
Wendy Williamson said: “We are not saying don’t buy from places such as the internet, but make sure you know who you are buying your parts from.
“There are many respected distributors in the UK all of whom have the correct processes in place to ensure parts are traceable back to the factory in the event of a recall.
“Putting motorists’ lives at risk”
“Safety is of paramount importance in our sector; in brakes for example, braking distances can be significantly increased and with lighting, dazzle and glare can be an issue.
“Counterfeit parts are putting motorists’ lives at risk.
“It is important, now more than ever, that suppliers, distributors and garages are aware of the origin of the parts they are using.”
Further information about the IAAF can be found via the ‘more details’ link below.