Independents unite in battle against customer supplied parts

Campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of fake car parts reignits debate on customer supplied parts

Independents unite in battle against customer supplied parts
Image: Bigstock.

A quick search online or trip down to the local scrapyard is an attractive option for some car owners but with an unknown history and specification, many garages are quite right to be wary of the possible implications when it comes to fitting them.

It’s an issue that’s currently making trade headlines after the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) launched an industry-backed campaign to raise awareness about the widespread problem of counterfeit car parts.

The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has warned that fake parts is just one of a number of issues garages face as the number of vehicle owners supplying their own parts continues to rise.

In a recent statement, the IGA said: “Consumer supplied parts may not be the correct fitment for the car, some internet sourced parts can be of low quality and there are potentially complex warranty issues if the part fails – especially where provenance is difficult to establish.”

Matt Archer of Archers Colwick in Nottingham knows all to well what the possible implications are.

Speaking to GW Views, he said: “We fitted a turbo to a car which the customer supplied from a breakers yard.

“The turbo failed within an hour of fitting and destroyed the engine.

“We were held responsible and not only lost a customer but suffered a damaged reputation.

“Luckily, my insurance covered the cost but the garage is always responsible regardless of disclaimers.

“Just don’t fit customer parts.”

Posting on the GW forum, Peter Miles said: “There was a time, years ago, when I would do it but tell the customer that there was no guarantee on the repair.

“But that no longer holds water, and probably never did.

“If you want your car repaired safely and correctly then I’ll do it for you but if you’re going to moan that you can get the part cheaper off eBay then get someone else to do it, or do it yourself.”

Commenting on the GW Facebook page, Ross Kemp said: “Most of the talk seems to centre around the liability and insurance.

“For us it’s simple.

“We don’t fit customer supplied parts simply because it is our business to diagnose, supply, fit, program and check.

“Anything that breaks that chain for us is not acceptable.

“We don’t fit customer supplied parts at all.”

Chris Stoakes said: “Having worked with many independent factors and garages I can see a clear pattern.

“The factors and garages that provide quality replacement parts tend to be the businesses that have the more stable and sustainable business in the long term.

“The garages and factors that focus on cheapest car parts are the ones that always seem to struggle..

“I think the consumer that purchases there own parts to save a few pound will find themselves falling into the same trap.

“Leave the experts to do their job.”

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