Thursday, 18 June 2020 10:04

The Dangers of Counterfeit Parts Presents Challenge for Collision Repair Industry


As collision repair facilities see repair jobs begin to increase, one concern is sourcing the parts to fix those vehicles in a timely, affordable manner that meet insurance carrier, OEM and industry repair standards.

The collision industry uses a variety of parts types which include aftermarket, recycled and reconditioned parts. Aftermarket parts compete in the marketplace, while counterfeit parts' material, performance or characteristics are knowingly misrepresented by a supplier in the supply chain.

Unknowingly, some collision repair facilities may end up with counterfeit parts when ordering what they believe are OEM parts. According to the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council, it is difficult to trace what percentage of parts are counterfeit.

The June 2020 Guild 21 webinar, hosted by VeriFacts, brought together four leaders in battling counterfeit parts to discuss the growing challenge, how government organizations and OEMs are working to eliminate them and what collision repair professionals can do to protect themselves and their customers.


The participants included Abe Jardines, Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center; John Lancaster, Subaru of America, Inc.; Teena Bohi, Toyota Motor North America; and Andy Forsythe, Nissan Group of North America.


To more effectively counter the flood of counterfeit/hazardous products by coordinating and leading the U.S. government’s response to this threat, the ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center has been restructured and moved into a new state of the art facility in Arlington, VA.


The center operates in a task force-like setting with all 25 partners focusing on interdiction, investigation and outreach and training to combat IP theft. 

“We are working to promote national security by protecting the public’s health and safety, the U.S. economy, our war fighters, and to stop predatory and illegal trade practices that threaten the U.S. and global economies,” said Jardines. “This whole of government approach brings to bear all the regulatory, civil and criminal authorities of the partner agencies to fight counterfeiting and piracy. This approach lays the foundation to partner with industry, other law enforcement agencies and provide education amongst them and the public of the dangers and effects of IP theft. 

“The bottom line is, can you trust the people that you are getting your parts from,” he added.

The Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council is a collaboration among automakers and their partners that strives to eliminate counterfeit automotive components that could harm U.S. consumers.

“Every type of part can be counterfeited, from keys to airbags, brakes, airbags, headlights and suspensions,” said Lancaster. “Not only do these counterfeit parts violate the OEM intellectual property, they can be incredibly dangerous for the repair professional and the consumer. We have reached out to law enforcement offices, ports and branches all throughout the U.S. and have found great success thus far, but counterfeit auto parts are a problem that requires more help... your help.”

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