Toyota stops fake car parts supplier

Sale of counterfeit grilles breached Australian law.

Major car manufacturer Toyota has stopped a large-scale Australian vehicle body part and panel supplier from importing, advertising and selling counterfeit grilles. 

A Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) media release said the fake grilles, which breached  Australian law, did not meet durability or quality standards and were likely to fail prematurely.

FCAI said in some cars with forward-facing radar or camera sensor applications the fake grilles could interfere with systems which help prevent collisions.

SSS Auto Parts was forced to withdraw the counterfeit grilles, offer a full refund to buyers and forfeit any remaining stock.

Toyota Australia’s Brand Protection Manager Fabiola Dos Santos said consumers could have been misled into believing the grilles were genuine as they illegally used the Toyota trademarks. 

SSS Auto Parts also breached Toyota’s copyright through the unlicensed use of Toyota-owned images on its own website. 

“We devote significant financial, technical and human resources to develop genuine parts and accessories that offer optimal performance, durability and safety benefits to customers,” Ms Dos Santos said.

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"Our grilles are designed, engineered and tested to allow sufficient air flow to the radiator, protecting the engine from overheating. 

“They are manufactured to Toyota's stringent quality and durability standards – an assurance that cannot be offered by anyone selling counterfeit parts.”

Toyota said people mistakenly thought buying counterfeit or non-genuine parts was harmless and the best way to get parts at a much cheaper price.

It said the impact on consumers was far worse than people realised as the parts were not tested or regulated ¬– a crucial step in producing genuine grilles.

Toyota is working with Australian Border Force to identify and seize counterfeit parts before they enter the country.

The company urged consumers to be wary of buying parts even if they came in a branded Toyota box. 

The best way to avoid buying counterfeit parts is to purchase Toyota genuine parts from an authorised dealer and not from a third-party business. 

Consumers who are concerned they have been sold a counterfeit vehicle part can lodge a report on the FCAI’s Genuine is Best website

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