SHARJAH // Municipal officials have destroyed thousands of fake Mercedes-Benz spare parts valued at more than Dh8 million (US$2.2m). A raid by agents of Mercedes-Benz Middle East & Levant, the municipality and representatives of a law firm found more than 65,000 counterfeit commercial vehicle parts in hundreds of boxes in premises on Sharjah Industrial Estate.
The parts, which were destroyed at the end of last month, included brake pads, turbochargers, alternators, oil coolers, piston rings, gasket kits and belt tighteners. Ivo Kapitski, vice president and director of after-sales at Mercedes-Benz Middle East & Levant, said in a press statement: "We work very closely with the local authorities to beat the counterfeiters who are actively cheating companies out of millions of dirhams.
"We believe that this raid sends a strong message to the others dealing in fake auto parts." Housam Arab, a car workshop foreman, said fake parts were based on original samples. "It looks exactly like the original, and sometimes even nicer, but it usually weighs less, and the sizes may vary slightly. It might not fit perfectly, and those that do at first, after a while they might get detached, especially if they are made of rubber."
While original parts should last at least two years, counterfeit ones lasted about six months, he said. "If the fake parts are major parts of the car, such as the brakes, and they are Chinese-made from an unknown company, they could suddenly stop functioning and cause major accidents," he warned. Moreover, he said, such parts could affect the national economy. "When accidents occur, that causes a loss to the country," he said.
Mr Kapitski added: "These parts are manufactured solely to make a quick profit. They use low-quality materials and are not subject to the extensive quality tests that we perform at Mercedes-Benz. "Although the customers may think they have a good bargain, we advise them to report any kind of suspected parts to their local Mercedes-Benz distributor." firstname.lastname@example.org