Illicit dealings in counterfeit parts were dealt a crushing blow by General Motors SA recently. Outlets selling these reproductions of original equipment components were forced to agree to hand over their remaining stocks, to be destroyed.
So far, three parts dealers obliged after GMSA have instituted legal action. They also had to sign an undertaking that they will never again make, import, dispose of or sell imitation parts indicating registered GM designs.
Counterfeit parts are manufactured, packaged and presented to take the place of an original article, despite their inferior quality. Imitators frequently duplicate a trademark exactly, or alter it just enough that the average customer will not notice the difference.
These items are often made using second-rate materials that will not last or perform like genuine GM Parts.
Izak Brink, Parts & Accessories Sales and Marketing Manager at General Motors in South Africa, says the company is committed to provide all its customers with outstanding quality at a reasonable price.
“GMSA encourages vehicle owners to stick to approved parts when purchasing replacement and maintenance components. These are of the exact same quality as those installed on the assembly line.
“Moreover, customers enjoy the advantage of a GM factory warranty on genuine parts for peace of mind motoring,” says Izak. “These are made to original equipment specifications and in accordance with GM’s strict international standards.”
According to Izak, imitation parts have become a serious problem in recent years. They may be cheaper up front, but they could cost a lot more in the long run.
Such components usually do not last as long as genuine GM parts. Moreover, they typically were not manufactured to comply with stringent GM specifications, leading to possible mechanical problems and system breakdowns, as well as the poor fit and finish of body panels – with questionable durability.
Commonly imitated parts are a wide selection of body panels; oil and air filters; shock absorbers; fan belts; disc brake pads and shoes; air conditioning compressors; starters; valves and valve lifters; distributor caps; rocker arms and camshafts; bearings; and alternators.