Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Toyota warns: beware of counterfeit car parts

Brakes pads that can spontaneously combust are just some of the counterfeit car parts being sold in the UAE.

Driving up to the Al-Futtaim parts distribution centre for Toyota, there is a huge sign on the side of the building that reads No to Counterfeit. Kevin Jones, the senior general manager for after sales, explains why fighting the sale of fake parts is so important.

What might typically be a counterfeit car part?

For instance a fake oil filter might look absolutely perfect on the outside with the correct stamps and everything. But look inside and there's nothing in it, it's empty. A cam belt might also look perfect and the counterfeiters even use the same plastic as Toyota to cover it, but you go inside it and it hasn't got the core, the reinforcement inside. You often can't tell the difference between two brake pads next to each other. The time you know that one is fake is when you press the brake and the glue melts.

Why are dealers selling these parts?

If they had a conscience they wouldn't do it. A lot of the genuine brakes have an asbestos substitute, but the fakes have wood and can just burst into flames. A car could be driving round and the driver presses the brake and the pad can explode into flames. It's so dangerous, but the margins are huge for dealers so that's why they do it.

Can authorised dealers compete on price?

It's difficult for our dealers because a lot of the unscrupulous dealers get our genuine parts and mix them with fake parts so they can sell at a low average cost. Our dealers cannot compete because the fake part costs next to nothing. Some customers get the good ones and some get the bad. It is like a lottery.

What is being done to tackle the problem?

What the Government is trying to do now is implement a scheme where if you don't have approval from the brand custodian, then you cannot display it on your shop frontage. So if the customer is walking in to somewhere with Toyota on the shop frontage, then they know they are safe and will only get genuine parts.

Are consumers waking up to the problem?

Being the market leader, and for the safety of customers, we try to educate them on fake parts. We run lots of campaigns every year to make customers aware. There is now more awareness among customers, but I don't think there has been a change in the amount of [fake] parts coming in to the country. The branding scheme will see there is a reduction in fake parts because people will only want to buy from branded shops.

Does the Government help in the fight?

The Government has been supporting us a lot in fake parts of late. It's taking a lot of interest. We also do a lot of work with Dubai Customs. They send parts to our distribution centre for analysis and will stop a container until we say whether the part is genuine or not.

* Rory Jones

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Would you like it in blue? An Afghan shopkeeper shows a burqa to a customer at a bazaar in Herat. (Aref Karimi / AFP /  April 13, 2014)

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 24, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 24, 2014.

 That's asking a lot: this four-bedroom duplex penthouse apartment  at Marina Residence in Dubai is for sale with an asking price of Dh15.7 million. (Courtesy Better Homes / April 2014)

In pictures: Palm Jumeirah penthouse listed for Dh15.7 million

A four-bedroom duplex penthouse in Marina Residence 3 on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah is on the market for Dh15.7 million.

 Room with a view from one of the 21 duplex penthouses located in the Gate Towers sky-bridge. The sports courts and swimming pools can be seen below. Courtesy Alda

In pictures: Aldar’s Gate Towers Penthouse Collection on Reem Island

Aldar launched its Gate Towers Penthouse Collection at Cityscape Abu Dhabi. The launch features 21 penthouses spanning the skybridge, with each having a private indoor pool and incredible views.

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National