RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC — The issue of controlling counterfeit motor vehicle parts continues to build momentum, grabbing the attention of the national media.
On June 25, Brian Duggan, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association’s (MEMA) director of international programs, was interviewed by “CBS Evening News” during a Consumer Report segment that focused on fakes and dangerous consumer products. MEMA estimates counterfeiting to be at least a $3 billion problem in the U.S. and $12 billion globally.
The news segment focused on dangerous electronic products such as extension cords and cell phone batteries but went on to discuss how dangerous counterfeit products may appear unknowingly under the hood of the family car. The segment referred to how brake pads have been found with compressed grass or wood in place of friction material.
During the interview, Duggan spoke to the high quality of today’s counterfeit products. “The parts are getting so good that they are making their way into what we would normally consider legitimate distribution channels,” said Duggan, who displayed a variety of fake parts ranging from brake pads to tensioners.
“This is certainly an issue that consumers should be aware of,” said Paul Foley, vice president of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), MEMA’s aftermarket segment. “This has been a serious issue that has cost American manufacturers business and jobs both overseas and domestically, but now it is becoming a public safety issue.”
MEMA has stepped up efforts to address the issue by forming a Brand Protection Council, a forum for member company representatives to discuss how to best attack this problem, both as individual companies and as an industry. MEMA has also worked with Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) to introduce a bill that strengthens the criminal penalties for auto parts counterfeiting.
For more information on this issue, contact Neal Zipser of MEMA at 919-406-8811 or [email protected].
To learn more about MEMA, go to: www.mema.org.
Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.