If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve probably seen plenty of headlines about counterfeit car parts. If you’ve missed the news, don’t worry. Here’s the gist: the police have been making several arrests related to counterfeit car parts, and they’re reminding buyers like you and me to be extra careful.
Counterfeit car parts are bad news – that, we know about, so we avoid them like the plague. But do we truly know the reasons why things like fake OEM parts are so horrible?
Don’t worry if you can’t answer that question because that’s precisely what this article will help you out with. In the next few sections, we’re going to explore the exact reasons why counterfeit car parts are horrible for you, your car, and everyone else on the road.
What Are Counterfeit Car Parts?
First of all, let’s do a quick recap of what counterfeit car parts actually are. To put it in the simplest of terms, they are fake OEM or aftermarket parts that are pretending to be the real deal.
That’s right! Counterfeit parts are way lower than low-quality aftermarket parts with shady origins, which is bad enough on its own. (Quick note: There are legitimate, high-quality aftermarket parts out there.) Beyond that, what makes counterfeit parts even more dangerous is that they use other manufacturers’ brand names and logos to cheat the end-user into buying them and fixing them in their cars.
To dive much deeper into the Genuine vs OEM vs Aftermarket vs Counterfeit car parts discussion, do yourself a favour and check out our previous article that tackles the issue.
Here's Why You Should Avoid Buying Fake OEM Parts
So, all of us know that we should avoid buying fake OEM parts as much as possible. Here are the exact reasons why that’s the case.
Dishonest from the Start
First and foremost, you should avoid buying fake OEM parts because they’re dishonest from the start. Remember: counterfeit parts are those that are masquerading as original parts. They typically carry stolen names, logos, images, and probably even the same packaging as those that come from legitimate manufacturers.
Simply put, if you can’t even trust the name on the box, how can you trust that the part will safely do what it’s supposed to do?
You can’t trust such auto parts, and that’s the simple truth of it.
Not Manufactured the Same
Sometimes, a dishonest seller might be 'honest' enough to tell you that they're offering you a counterfeit part because it's much cheaper. As part of their sales pitch, they'll try to convince you that those car parts work exactly the same or that they were built following the exact process as the original.
Do not trust any of those claims, and never fall for that sales pitch.
Think about it: a legitimate manufacturer, whether they’re an OEM or even a third-party aftermarket company, will have proper manufacturing processes in place. They have well-trained staff using industry-standard equipment to produce high-quality auto parts that fit your vehicle’s specs.
Fake auto parts manufacturers could never do the same, simply because they can’t afford to. Counterfeit parts are cheaper because they do not manufacture parts the same way, despite whatever claims they make. For all you know, their ‘manufacturing facility’ could just be the garage at someone’s mother’s house.
No Testing or Quality Control
Any legitimate auto parts manufacturer will have a stringent quality control stage as part of their overall process. It will ensure that components are safe and reliable, and they won’t be a danger to the car, its occupants, or anyone else on the road.
Here’s another reason why counterfeit auto parts tend to be much cheaper. It’s because they skip this testing and quality control process entirely, which is terrible news.
While that may shave down the costs significantly, it also increases the risks involved in using fake OEM parts. Sure, those parts might look like the real deal when you look at it up close, but there’s no telling how it’ll perform when it’s exposed to the environment inside your car.
Don't forget: Most auto parts are designed to withstand a lot of heat and friction (legit ones anyway). For this reason, quality control and testing are critical parts of a legitimate manufacturing process.
No Warranty Coverage
As mentioned previously, legitimate auto parts manufacturers put a lot of effort into the manufacturing process, testing, and quality control. So, those manufacturers have such a high degree of confidence in the quality of their products that they’re willing to offer warranty on them.
Counterfeit car parts typically have no such warranty coverage. Even if they do, it’s usually for a laughably short period compared to the warranty and assurances provided by legitimate manufacturers and sellers.
Some of those who knowingly buy counterfeit parts might justify their purchase by saying that they can live without the warranty. That's not a good idea at all, especially since a faulty fake car part won't just pose a threat to your car but also the lives of everyone onboard as well.
Taking it a step further, a faulty counterfeit part in your car could lead to a road accident and result in property damage, physical injury, and potentially even death.
Shady or Untraceable Origins
When you buy legit auto parts, you're not just paying for the parts alone. You're paying for the brand name as well. What that means is that if anything goes wrong, you'll know exactly who made the parts and where they come from.
In other words, there is someone who takes responsibility for the quality of the car parts that you buy.
For example, if there’s a widespread problem with a particular car part, the manufacturer will be held responsible. They’ll be able to trace that part back to the exact assembly line it came from, including every nut, bolt, or screw that was involved in the process of making that part. That’s why there are recalls because manufacturers are held accountable for defects in their products.
You won’t get the same level of accountability or traceability when it comes to counterfeit car parts. Firstly, you won’t know who made them, let alone what factory the parts came out of. Second, it’s going to be exceptionally hard to hold anyone accountable for those parts.
What’s the Moral of the Story?
The best way to avoid counterfeit car parts entirely is to always buy from reputable sources. To find honest OEM auto parts sellers wherever you might be in Australia, check out the Directory over at Carpart.com.au. There, you’ll be able to find the nearest legitimate car parts dealers in your area.
By Ray Hasbollah