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

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

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

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

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 A sign points the way to an outdoor market popular with German visitors on the Polish side of the German-Polish border. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In pictures: A decade since the European Union went east

May 1 will mark 10 years since the European Union expanded east, taking in countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states as new members. And though the border region between Germany and Poland is flourishing with trade and cultural exchange, the open border has also brought a sharp rise in crime.

 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.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National