Chinese police have seized more than $1 million worth of counterfeit Toyota car parts, many of which were destined for Australia.
The stock was uncovered during a police raid in Guangzhou, south-east China. The raid was based on information provided by Toyota Australia.
Around 33,000 of the fake parts, including filters, cables and seals, through to safety-critical items such as airbags, brake master cylinders and brake pads, were seized.
The replica parts were produced in a large-scale manufacturing facility and authorities also identified around 55,000 packages branded in the style of Toyota Genuine Parts, complete with bar codes and serial numbers.
The Federal Chamber of automotive Industries (FCAI) said the company concerned “is also known to manufacture car parts counterfeiting those of other Japanese automotive brands”.
Information leading to the Guangzhou raid resulted from Toyota’s recent Federal Court proceedings against two local retailers selling claimed inferior counterfeit airbag components.
As a result of the settlement of those proceedings, the retailers agreed to contact all affected customers and offer them a refund.
Highlighting the scale of the issue, Ford Australia recently intercepted fake parts, including aftermarket alloy rims for FPV models and air intake snorkels and grilles for the Ranger, while Holden has seized counterfeit parts including body panels, alloy rims, grilles, tail lights and radiators.
“While this seizure is shocking, sadly it’s not uncommon and using counterfeit parts, knowingly or otherwise, means you’re taking a huge risk,” said FCAI chief Tony Weber.
“It offers a clear reminder to consumers that just because they see a branded box, bag or label they shouldn’t assume they’re buying a genuine part. The way to avoid safety concerns posed by fake parts is to ensure you or your repairer sources genuine replacement parts from the vehicle maker’s authorised supply chain.”