The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has collaborated with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to highlight the dangers of counterfeit and consumer supplied car parts within the IPO’s Crime and Enforcement Report 2018 – 2019.
In the report, the IGA highlights the issue of customer-supplied parts which it says presents garages with problems because they’re unable to determine the true origins of such parts.
The report states: “There are a growing number of routes available for consumers to source car parts in order to save money on car maintenance and repairs.
“It can be difficult to tell if a part is genuine as counterfeits often use advanced techniques to replicate both the part and packaging.
“Although sourcing a part to reduce costs may be tempting, unintentionally buying a counterfeit part compromises the safety of consumers passengers
and other road users.
“It can also increase their car maintenance costs in the long term due to part durability, and reduce the value of their vehicle.”
A survey of thousands of independent garages in 2017 revealed that 69 per cent of garages will never fit customer supplied parts.
It also showed that 29 per cent of garages used to fit customer supplied parts but no longer do so, while two per cent routinely fit customer supplied parts.
In a bid to tackle the problem, the IGA and the IPO published guidance on counterfeit vehicle parts in July and a video was produced to highlight the safety risks of supplying parts for garages to fit.
Frank Harvey, head of member services at the IGA said: “We are pleased to see this issue being highlighted by the IPO, as there are huge liability and safety implications surrounding counterfeit and consumer supplied parts.
“We are continuing to work with the IPO to raise awareness of the dangers to both garages and consumers, and we maintain that garages should always supply and fit parts themselves to guarantee provenance and provide the appropriate warranties for the work they undertake.”
Garages told to be vigilant
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has also 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.
It warns that 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.
Find the report in full here or select ‘more details’ below for further information about the IGA.
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