Alerted to the presence of the fake filters sold online, two of Australia’s big-selling car brands – Toyota and Hyundai – sent the fake items to their laboratories for bench testing and found the bogus filters presented a high risk of major engine damage due to poor filtration, and inferior production and engineering standards.
The filters were brazenly presented online as genuine, both in sale advertisements and in packaging and presentation.
Surveillance of the seller also saw him visiting mechanics’ workshops, selling the dodgy filters from the boot of his car.
Subsequent investigations led to the seizure of a commercial volume of the counterfeit oil filters which were found to be highly sophisticated copies, almost identical to the genuine parts (on the outside) and illegally bearing the trademarks and branding of both brands.
As part of the legal action which followed, consumers who had unwittingly purchased counterfeit oil filters were contacted and offered replacement genuine parts.
This latest investigation follows on from a seizure earlier this year in the UAE, when 100,000 counterfeit car parts, including Denso-branded oil and air filters, were seized from a warehouse in Abu Dhabi. At the time of the seizure, investigators believed that these parts were likely destined for Australia.
Consumers are reminded that if they suspect they have encountered a counterfeit car part, to report it via the FCAI’s Genuine is Best portal http://genuineisbest.com.au/report-a-counterfeit/. Reports will be referred to the relevant brand and Australian Border Force.