Why is it so hard to stop counterfeit auto parts?

by Jessica Plourde Hutter, on February 5, 2016

Screen_Shot_2016-02-05_at_7.53.09_AMAt a time when auto manufacturers are working hard on new technology to improve auto safety — such as crash warning systems and automatic braking — they and their customers face a growing threat. Counterfeit auto components are still finding their way into the global supply chain, and the improved quality of these parts is making detection more difficult than ever.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission estimates that the market for counterfeit auto parts is worth about $12 billion per year. About 80 percent are thought to reach the North American market from China, but some also arrive Taiwan, Russia, India and Pakistan. Counterfeiters are finding new ways to sneak their products through enforcement measures, using leaked production details from well-known brands to create products that look similar.

Unfortunately, many counterfeit components still contain serious quality issues that could lead to failure. Shoddy materials and faulty wiring are just two ways that these parts can lead to safety hazards when installed in vehicles.

Price-sensitive consumers are particularly susceptible to the efforts of counterfeiters, which is another growing concern among regulators.

"The reason why counterfeit auto parts are so popular is because it's a complicated good," Maysa Razavi, external relations advisor in the anti-counterfeiting division at the International Trademark Association, told Reuters. "They're expensive and a lot of consumers, looking for a good deal, don't know what a genuine auto part looks like, versus a counterfeit."

As counterfeiters improve their strategies, auto makers have to do the same. A proven enterprise labeling solution will help track products and ensure that only genuine items end up in the hands of consumers.

For more information on automotive labeling download the automotive labeling kit today.

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