If you are looking for the full-service backup or let’s take the sunroof replacement for your car, that too for a fraction of the retail cost, you’re not alone. There are many other, who wants to get their vehicle done at minimal cost, but it also puts you in jeopardy.
The menace of counterfeit products has not left any industry untouched, and the automotive sector is no different. Due to the steep demand in the automobile industry, the suppliers are shifting more towards stocking counterfeit products in order to ensure the continued businesses. Unfortunately, the practice of supplying counterfeit products in the market has increased many folds in the last couple of decades, that too at an alarming rate.
How Big Is The Threat Of Counterfeit Parts?
According to a report submitted by BASCAP and the International Trademark Association (INTA), it is estimated that “the total annual cost of counterfeiting and digital piracy sits at between the US $923 billion – 1.13 trillion, and further prediction is, this could double by 2022 if current trends continue. In total, the global trade value of the counterfeit goods accounts for 2.5 percent.”
You might not realize, but the hidden cost behind the genuine-looking auto parts is staggering, and it ultimately mar the market of the authentic business houses. Furthermore, after recurring substantial loss due to the increased demand for such counterfeit products, the employees of such businesses have to feel the brunt.
The downsides of the counterfeit parts just don’t end with the loss in revenue and job cuts, the real challenge erupts after this, and that is “loss of life.” Yes, due to the use of counterfeit parts, the chances of vehicle malfunctioning also increases and can sometimes lead to an accident.
In yet another report by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry), about 20 percent of accidents on Indian roads are caused by counterfeit automobile parts. Rest you can calculate, what perils does it hold.
Why Are Counterfeit Products On The Rise?
There is no rocket science hidden behind the rise in the sales of counterfeit parts. There are two primary reasons which add to it; one is the quick profit that the auto part dealers can strike and other stands out to be the advancement in the technology, which has made it easier to fool the end customer and even in some cases, the part testers as well.
Earlier, the counterfeit part manufacturers didn’t have access to the similar machinery that is being used by the OEMs (Original equipment manufacturer), but with changing time, the scenario has changed. The counterfeiters have the leisure of such technology that not only brings them closer to the resemblance of the genuine products but even makes them look authentic.
Once produced, the auto parts are then sold to dealers who are aware of the reality, but still indulge into it to make quick bucks.
Also, it is not always about the profit, the manufacturing of genuine parts take time and efforts to be crafted, which doesn’t go as per the market demand. Now and then, the OEMs test the machinery to make sure they are as error-proof as possible. On the other hand, the unlicensed dealers don’t have to comply with any such standard practices, and hence, they are able to manufacture the similar looking products in almost half the time and cost.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Going For Counterfeit Auto Parts?
You can surely save some money by investing in counterfeit parts, but do have a thought about the end result. You are surely putting yourself and others at risk if you go for counterfeit parts.
The list of items that are most commonly used in the spurious form includes engine oil, fuel filter, brake pads, oil filter and more. These all items make an inevitable part of any vehicle and using it in counterfeit form can land you in trouble for sure. Using counterfeit brake pads can affect the vehicle’s efficiency to stop, whereas, counterfeit oil filters can damage the engine and ultimately lessen its life.
Some other vehicle parts that can prove to be dangerous if used in the counterfeit form:
- Tires that can explode at high speed
- Faulty airbags
- Poor suspension parts
- Defective seat belts
On top of all this, the major concern remains the threat to life. Such counterfeit parts can push the car to malfunction, and that may lead to severe accidents.
How To Curb The Menace?
Many times, you might have come across the theory of a genuine or a fake hologram to distinguish between a genuine auto part and the counterfeit one. But due to the massive production of the auto parts, even the company officials are sometimes skeptical about the identity of a genuine hologram from a fake. Now, you can very well make out, what chance an end customer holds on this.
At present, you just can’t rule out the possibility of witnessing counterfeit parts in the authorized service station also. Though the chances are less, still you need to be informed and should know the ways that can save you from the peril of counterfeit parts.
Here are a few steps that can help you out:
- If you get your car service from an authorized service station, make sure to collect the bill and ensure, all parts mentioned in the bill are fitted or replaced in your vehicle.
- Always remember to ask for the parts that are being removed from the vehicle, so that, those parts don’t get placed in another customer’s vehicle.
- If you are lucky enough to get the chance to visit the bay area, where your car is getting serviced, keep a close tab on all the products that are being brought by the mechanics and check for the seals and packaging.
- If you want to cut down on the extra expenses of your car getting serviced by the company, always go for the part that comes in full packing and would still be a little expensive then the rest. Much like an authorized service station, always ask for a bill.
The most important thing, the counterfeit parts will always be sold at a much lesser price than the original one. Therefore, saving some bucks at the cost of a life is just not worth the risk.
Automen verdict: Always take your car to an authorized service station or the facility which is recognized by the parent companies. It’s always healthy to experiment, but not at the cost of your life.
#AutomenProTip: The counterfeit goods account for 2.5 percent of global trade value.