Authorities seize huge haul of fake parts

A million dollars’ worth of fake Toyota service parts have been seized by police in China, according to Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

The shipment was uncovered in Guangzhou on route for sale in Australia, following a tip off by Toyota Australia. It included 33,000 safety parts from 80 different part lines, including airbag and brake components. Authorities also identified around 55,000 packages branded in the style of Toyota Genuine Parts, complete with barcodes and serial numbers.

According to the FCAI, the replica parts were produced in a large-scale manufacturing facility.

Last year, Toyota Australia lodged Federal Court proceedings against two independent retailers that had been selling counterfeit airbag spiral cables advertised as genuine Toyota parts. Internal testing found they were of inferior quality and posed a number of potential risks to customers. The OEM also forced an online retailer to recall counterfeit brake pads containing asbestos.

Toyota was keen to stress the difference between genuine, non-genuine and counterfeit parts.  While non-genuine parts – those made by alternative suppliers – are legal and often made by reputable parts suppliers, counterfeit parts are dangerous, often untested and subject to flaws.

Fake parts from China have turned up in the European Union, the United States and the Middle East, to name just three regions.