Four-wheel drive enthusiasts are at risk of being duped by counterfeit ‘strut spacers’ that place vehicles in danger of catastrophic failure. The strut spacers promise to improve off-road performance, illegally bearing genuine brand marks to deceive drivers into thinking they have received a part backed by their vehicle’s maker.
Marketed online, a batch was recently seized by Australian Border Force.
The strut spacers create an increase in frontal ground clearance. Enthusiasts are sold what appears to be a genuine product on the promise of increased off-road driving capability.
A Toyota Australia spokesperson said that these parts are unknown and have not been tested and/or evaluated to Toyota’s standards, causing potential safety, quality and performance ramifications if installed to a Toyota vehicle.
FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber also expressed concern about the fitment of fake parts to vehicles.
“These unknown, untested and evidently dangerous parts have no place on Australian roads. The fact they are being marketed with the logos of vehicle brands is cause for tremendous concern. I applaud Border Force for taking action and removing these items.”
“Manufacturers across the industry are sending a clear message to the buyers of counterfeit parts. The criminals marketing these are out to rip you off. Fitting a counterfeit part to a vehicle will have consequences. Once they have your money, the counterfeiters do not care about your safety and the safety of your family.”
Other dangerous parts seized, identified, or tested by Genuine is Best include counterfeit spark plugs capable of causing massive engine damage, counterfeit oil filters that do not filter oil, wheels that shatter in low-speed pothole impacts, brake components containing asbestos and in one overseas case, brake pads made of compressed grass clippings.
Australian motorists who suspect they may have been sold a counterfeit part should submit a report for investigation at https://genuineisbest.com.au/report-suspicious-parts/