John Yoswick

John YoswickJohn Yoswick is a freelance automotive writer based in Portland, Oregon, who has been writing about the collision industry since 1988. He is the editor of the weekly CRASH Network (for a free 4-week trial subscription, visit www.CrashNetwork.com).

He can be contacted at john@crashnetwork.com 

Wednesday, 08 April 2020 12:50

Shops Cautioned Tough Economy Could Spur More Counterfeit Parts, Pirated Software

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The Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council offers this visual guide to common indications an automotive part may be counterfeit. The Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council offers this visual guide to common indications an automotive part may be counterfeit.


The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is likely to be felt worldwide, and that has law enforcement bracing for almost inevitable uptick in crime, including illegal business activity.

Shops should take a number of measure to avoid perpetuating---or falling victim to---criminal activity.


The Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council (A2C2), a coalition of 11 automakers, is reminding shops to avoid counterfeit airbags and other automotive parts.


Dee Pagdilao, of American Honda, said A2C2 offers a visual guide to some of the most common indications that a part may be counterfeit, including labels that don’t match one another (such as two different part numbers on the same package) or that cover other labels; labels with conflicting information (“made in Thailand” and “made in Japan”); or, most commonly, labels with odd misspellings of such common words as Ford.


Genuine automaker airbags are shipped one per box, with a “Class 9” hazardous material label, Pagdilao said; counterfeiters, however, often save money by shipping multiple airbags in a single box, or by skipping the hazardous material label.


Shops concerned a part they received may be counterfeit should contact the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPRC) (www.iprcenter.gov), part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


How can shops best avoid purchasing or installing counterfeit parts?


The first step is to know your parts supply chain, Abe Jardines of the IPRC said.


“My first job when I was 17 years old was delivering parts to auto shops in New Jersey for a local car dealer,” Jardines said. “Every guy at those body shops knew me by name, and I knew them by name. The next time my mom needed a body shop, I could call that guy up and say my mother is coming in. I knew who I trusted.


"That was knowing the supply chain. The internet kind of changed that. As great as the internet is at connecting people that are good, it’s also really good at connecting people who are bad with those who don’t know the other person is a bad source," Jardines said. "But at the end of the day, it all comes down to knowing your supply chain. If you can trust your supply chain, if you would put a part (you buy from a source) on your own car, we can’t ask for anything more from you.”


Authorities caution parts aren’t the only automaker product subject to pirating.

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