The millions of vehicles active on Australian roads rely on an equally overwhelming number of parts and accessories to operate safely. However, a recent raid in China uncovered a scheme that could have put the safety of these parts in jeopardy and increased the chance of car accident injury claims occurring.
The raid discovered a large number of counterfeit car parts destined for Australian shores, which could have compromised the safety of thousands of Australia. With counterfeit parts manufactured to a standard well below that of their genuine alternatives, motorists that are lured in to purchasing them can be exposed to unknown risks.
What did the raid uncover?
According to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the shipment included around 33,000 products designed to resemble genuine parts for a range of Toyota vehicles. These included various items the FCAI describe as "safety-critical", including braking system components and airbags – parts no driver would want to take a chance on.
The haul also included a number of regular components, such as air filters and various engine seals. In total, the Chinese police uncovered $1 million worth of parts according to their standard retail value.
While this shipment was picked up by the authorities before it could make its way to Australia and into local vehicles, FCAI CEO Tony Weber said that this is far from an isolated event. While this seizure is shocking, sadly it's not uncommon and using counterfeit parts, knowingly or otherwise, means you're taking a huge risk," he explained.
"The way to avoid safety concerns posed by fake parts is to ensure you or your repairer sources genuine replacement parts from the vehicle maker's authorised supply chain."
In an effort to combat incidents such as these, the FCAI has created the "Genuine Is Best" initiative to make consumers aware of the potential dangers. While some may be tempted by the cheaper prices often associated with non-genuine car parts, the campaign assures Australians that the safety risks just aren't worth it.
In comparison with counterfeit parts, genuine replacements have been tested by the manufacturer both for Australian conditions and the vehicle they'll be fitted on. The campaign also notes that some insurance companies offer policies which don't specify the use of genuine parts, which could affect the safety of other vehicles on the road.
To find out more about car accident injury claims mean for you, contact the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners.