Toyota strikes back against counterfeiting

by Ken Allen, on April 18, 2016

Barcode label software can prevent counterfeitingCounterfeit parts are a scourge for the auto industry. Their growing presence in the supply chain threatens profits and negatively impacts vehicle reliability. Most importantly, they pose an increased safety risk to unwitting drivers, whose cars may contain fake parts without them realizing it until a catastrophic failure occurs.

Toyota in particular seems to be struggling with this problem as of late. In November 2015, the company discovered that a third-party had been selling thousands of counterfeit brake pads, which had found their way onto many Toyota models in Australia. 

The problem with these brakes wasn't just that they were less reliable than genuine components. News Corp Australia reported that they also contained asbestos - a fiber that is believed to cause serious respiratory problems and cancers when breathed in over time.

"Every time the brakes are applied, asbestos dust goes into the atmosphere," Greg Patton, Motor Traders Association CEO, told the news source. "It's that indiscriminate, it's truly deadly stuff. The disregard these people have for public health is shocking."

More recently, Toyota has attempted to stymie the counterfeit market by lowering the prices of many of its genuine components.

That should certainly force some counterfeiters out of the market - though questions remain as to whether it will be enough. Ultimately, automakers and parts manufacturers need to improve supply chain traceability if they are going to protect consumers from fake parts. An improved system of clear automotive labeling can help. Enterprise Labeling Solutions allow the industry to add intelligence and centralized control to labeling processes, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. Drivers shouldn't have to worry about their shoddy brakes poisoning them. They should know when they are buying the genuine article.

To find out more about how Enterprise Labeling helps automotive manufacturers, download our webinar today!

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