It is no longer news that many fake leather and branded bags are sold in the market and most of us have stopped cringing about the same as it offers us a chance to own goods that looks gorgeous and cost a very minute part of our pockets. Not only are we promoting the makers of counterfeit goods but are also supporting gangs of criminals or even terrorism at large!
If you were just thinking that counterfeiting is restricted to fake bags, shoes, clothes, sunglasses then think again! The motoring industry has not escaped from the menace of counterfeiting.
For many of us, counterfeiting is not a big issue. We get our vehicles regularly serviced by authorised dealers and get them repaired at authorised franchise facilities. But there are many, for whom running a car can be a costly business. So they approach unauthorised stores who assure them best and cheap servicing and maintenance. But just stop and think that what amount are you saving by putting your life and others at risk? Using counterfeit motor parts could be the most costly and dangerous thing you have ever done! 20% of all road accidents can be attributed to the use of fake automotive parts (Source: report titled, “Emerging Challenges to Legitimate Business in the Borderless World” by FICCI CASCADE)
There are many companies who are determined to put an end to trade in counterfeit goods, and the issue of fake car parts is taken extremely seriously by them. In their fight against counterfeiting, they are joining hands with the government for expertise and assistance.
Counterfeiting of car parts is the cancer of the car industry, and it keeps growing. This imitation of automotive parts can hamper the brand’s image. Moreover, the supply of substandard components can have a strong and negative impact on perception of brand quality in the minds of -customers.
The effects of counterfeiting can vary from break down of car or little damages to major accidents and deaths. A counterfeited air or fuel filter can affect the performance of engine. Use of counterfeit oil can cause internal damage or premature wear of the engine and counterfeited brakes, discs, tyres and suspensions can lead to multiple deaths. Sometimes, the parts and packaging of counterfeited parts is so convincing that only experts can detect their originality, therefore it is important to buy from reputed companies. It has been observed that within two years of a launch of a new model, its counterfeits can be found in the market which is a very short span.
How to avoid counterfeit car parts
The packaging is often as convincing as the real thing, so you need to have your wits about you to make sure that you fit only good-quality spares to your car.
Genuine parts are labelled with batch codes and dates of manufacture, so check these carefully. Also, it’s worth remembering that garages and specialists can be prosecuted for supplying and fitting counterfeit parts, so always remember your rights as a consumer. But according to those in the know, buying car parts over the internet is where the biggest dangers lurk, so check everything very carefully when your order arrives – your life could depend on it.
Some of the most effective technology that is used to combat counterfeiting is by application of Optical Variable Devices (OVDs)/Security Holograms and Security Labels.
They provide three levels of security – Overt, those that can be easily identified by naked eye. Covert security features are those features that are helpful to brand owners is meant for immediate visual authentication by a common man. The overt security features include optical features, such as, 3D effect, 4 channel effect, slip effect etc., and printing features, such as, colour changing inks and water marks. These features can be detected only with an aid of authentication tools.
The covert security features include optical features such as concealed texts, nano texts, raster texts etc. and printing features such as UV ink, thermochromic ink etc. can be verified only at Forensic laboratories.
The most critical are ‘Forensic’ features that are meant for enforcement agencies to enhance the security. Non-optical security such as barcode, mirror effect and taggant effect can also be provided. The taggant effect consists of a special coat of nano particles in certain specific combination on the OVDs or Security Labels, and the presence of the taggant particles can be detected only with an aid of hand-held taggant reader which is aligned to read these specific combination of nano-particles, thereby verifying the genuineness of the product on the spot by a simple field test.
Ignorance is not a bliss always. If that price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Walk away. Live to drive another day.