Authorities conducting the raid the Guangzhou City also found about 55,000 packages “branded in the style of Toyota Genuine Parts, complete with barcodes and serial numbers,” FCAI wrote in a news release May 30. The Australian organization is similar to the U.S. Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
The phony parts had “an estimated retail value of over $1 million,” according to FCAI. It’s unclear if this figure refers to their value to a counterfeit trafficker purchasing them from a counterfeiter, the value of comparable parts bought new from Toyota, or the value at which the parts, passed off as genuine, would be sold at a discount.
Components included airbags, brake master cylinders, brake pads, cables, filters and seals; FCAI didn’t specify if any other collision-centric Toyota parts besides airbags were included.
However, it noted that Ford Australia has also intercepted Ford Ranger truck grilles and air intake snorkels as well as alloy wheels, and General Motors/Holden has captured fake alloy rims, body panels, grilles, taillights and radiators.
A settlement led to the retailers offering refunds to customers, according to FCAI.
“While this seizure is shocking, sadly it’s not uncommon and using counterfeit parts, knowingly or otherwise, means you’re taking a huge risk,” FCAI CEO Tony Weber said in a statement.”It offers a clear reminder to consumers that just because they see a branded box, bag or label they shouldn’t assume they’re buying a genuine part. 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,” he said.