Auto manufacturers warn of counterfeit goods

by Jon Jagelsky, on March 15, 2016

Screen_Shot_2016-03-14_at_9.37.36_AMCar manufacturers worldwide are warning consumers to beware of the dangers of counterfeit goods.

  • In the U.K., Honda Motor Europe is working to spread the word about hundreds of counterfeit airbags that may have been purchased on the Internet and are currently installed in vehicles. According to Auto Express, these faulty devices will not properly deploy in an accident, putting drivers and passengers at serious risk.
  • In the U.S., Hyundai Motors America has launched an informational campaign that will help customers learn the difference between genuine and counterfeit components. One video from Hyundai shows the difference in the amount of impact that a crash test dummy suffers when colliding with a genuine airbag and a counterfeit model.

"Consumers who install counterfeit parts risk harming their car's performance and value."


Counterfeiting is a big problem, especially for the auto industry. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission estimates that auto component counterfeiting costs $3 billion in the U.S. annually - and $12 billion around the world. And airbags aren't the only parts being illegally copied. Knock-off brakes, steering arms, bearings and clutches can be easily found and inadvertently purchased.

Consumers who install counterfeit parts risk harming their car's performance and value. Most importantly, they threaten their own safety. Modern auto components are often complex, and built with a level of precision that is rarely found in fakes. This increases the risk of a sudden, catastrophic failure.

Manufacturers must work to combat counterfeiting by improving traceability throughout the supply chain. And while it can be difficult for the average person to spot fake parts, better labels can help. An enterprise labeling solution enables centralized control and adds intelligence to labeling.

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