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Counterfeit Parts of Concern to Toyota Australia

November 10th, 2008

Toyota Australia is concerned that counterfeit parts are being fitted to Toyota vehicles and putting lives at risk.

The counterfeit trade in vehicle parts is largely un-traceable. However Toyota Australia has evidence of parts entering Australia illegally, and is taking an active role to limit their dissemination - before they end up in Toyota vehicles.

In terms of vehicle operation, quality means safety, and Toyota Australia's crackdown on counterfeit parts is part of the company's commitment to help ensure the safety of drivers and passengers.

Toyota Genuine Parts are manufactured according to Toyota Motor Corporation's strict standards and Australian Design Rules.

Every single part is the product of extensive research, development and rigorous testing to ensure the quality, durability and reliability for which Toyota is renowned.

In contrast, counterfeit parts are not tested or manufactured to any standards approved, or authorised, by Toyota, nor any other known regulatory body.

They are usually manufactured in unknown locations with inferior materials and no guarantee on safety, quality or usage - which is why they are offered so cheaply.

For example, counterfeit oil filters, sold in Australia, are manufactured with materials that are prone to clogging.

A clogged oil filter prevents oil reaching the engine and can cause a potentially dangerous engine breakdown.

Toyota Genuine oil filters employ a high-efficiency filtration material to minimise engine wear and to allow the free flow of oil, with minimal clogging effect.

Brake pads, a critical element of vehicle safety, are also subject to counterfeiting.

Counterfeit brake pads are made from low-grade material compared to genuine brake pads, and may contain asbestos - an illegal substance in Australian manufacturing.

There are serious safety concerns with these pads as they are less able to withstand the heat generated from braking friction and are known to malfunction.

Manager of Customer Service for Toyota Australia, Matthew Callachor, concedes it can be difficult for workshops to distinguish a genuine part from a knock-off.

"The packaging can look very similar to the real thing, so it's not surprising they often get mistaken for a genuine part.

"However, if a business owner has purchased parts for a very cheap price, they must have suspicions about their origin," he said.

As the importing and sale of counterfeit parts is illegal, Toyota Australia in no way endorses or authorises the sale, or fitment of counterfeit parts to Toyota vehicles.

The safest way to ensure only Toyota Genuine Parts are fitted to Toyota vehicles is to purchase them directly from a Toyota dealer.

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