The mention of ‘counterfeit’ or ‘fake’ parts in the UK commercial vehicle aftermarket is often met with widespread dismissal. Indeed, the majority of workshops in the UK believe that they have never come across such parts, but make no mistake; they are out there.
With the latest report from the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) estimating a global trade of fake vehicle-related parts worth a colossal $10 billion, it’s no surprise that the sector remains vigilant. An increasing number of seizures of fake vehicle parts and accessories have occurred in the UK, exacerbating the global issue of counterfeit trade of vehicle parts.
Braking, a safety critical product group, is one such area where counterfeit parts exist. The message from Textar to the market is clear: Only buy original Textar products, as they can only guarantee the safety customers expect in all situations.
Last year’s IPO anti-counterfeiting campaign to raise awareness was embraced by IAAF and supported by its members, including TMD Friction. It urged every business in the automotive aftermarket supply chain to remain vigilant in light of this surge in reported cases, highlighting the problem and the dangers of (knowingly and unknowingly) using counterfeit vehicle parts.
Efforts taken by suppliers
So, while the number of counterfeit parts in the UK is relatively low, it is important to note that this is largely thanks to the lengths that suppliers – including TMD Friction – go to in order to stop counterfeit parts from entering the supply chain at the earliest opportunity.
For example, TMD Friction works with customs authorities to identify any counterfeit parts. The company’s products always follow the same shipping channels and supply chains – any deviations are immediately investigated.
In terms of quality and product identification, Textar has a service hotline set-up to help end users, and Textar products feature a supplier code and manufacturer logo embedded on the part. Further advancements in this area are expected soon.
Rise of the Internet
Counterfeit products available online is a growing problem. For parts bought online, it is difficult to know if a part is genuine or not. The commercial vehicle aftermarket is traditional in its distribution model, but this ensures transparency and traceability of parts from reputable suppliers like TMD Friction. Textar products have a certificate of OE matching quality that they can provide customers with, and product packaging is forgery-proof with a hologram seal.
Counterfeit parts being fitted to a commercial vehicle could have potentially damaging consequences while in operation. Technicians, workshops and motor factors must therefore only work with reputable suppliers, that can demonstrate their quality and support.