Original One Parts, a portfolio company of private equity firm Kinderhook Industries, LLC, warns customers regularly about the risk to their business and their customers that counterfeit parts can pose.
“Most collision repairers would say ‘I would never use a counterfeit part’,” said Wade Hilburn, president and CEO of Original One Parts. “The problem is, counterfeit parts are made to look just like the original genuine OEM parts, and even carry an imitation of the OEM brand. But you have no idea what type of inspection process, if any, was used. These parts don’t perform to the same standards as the OEM part, they don’t have the structural integrity, and they don’t have the precise fit. That all can affect safety, may void a warranty or impact resale value.”
Counterfeit auto parts are continuing to infiltrate the automotive repair industry, putting companies and customers at risk. It is a serious problem that falls under the investigative resources of the Department of Homeland Security. Collision repair facilities may end up unknowingly receiving counterfeit parts when ordering what they believe are OEM parts.
The Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council is an automotive association composed of representatives from North American vehicle manufacturers whose mission is to eliminate counterfeit automotive components that could harm U.S. consumers. According to the Automotive Anti-Counterfeiting Council, it is difficult to trace what percentage of parts are counterfeit.
The use of counterfeit parts poses a significant risk to public health and safety. Counterfeit parts put the car owner and their passengers at risk when they do not perform as intended or fail to perform. This could result in break downs, accidents or vehicle fires.
The counterfeit part that probably gets the most attention is the air bag, however, other common counterfeit parts can be also be critical such as seat belts, control arms, crankshafts, suspension parts, steering linkages, ignition coils, clutch housings and oil pumps. Failure of these parts can cause serious damage to the vehicle, not to mention serious injury.
So how can collision repair professionals protect themselves from unknowingly using counterfeit parts? Hilburn has a few suggestions.
“The best way to protect yourself is to use a reputable parts supplier that you can trust, one with a good process to ensure that counterfeit parts cannot make their way into their inventory for resale to you,” advised Hilburn. “Use caution when purchasing auto parts on the internet that are shipped from outside the U.S. And as with anything, be wary of prices that are way below market price. If it is too good to be true — it probably is.”
How Original One Parts Ensures the Part You Are Receiving Is Certified OEM
Original One Parts sources parts nationwide through an expansive network of recyclers that they know and trust. Once an experienced part arrives in its facility, it is inspected against a control plan for fit, form and function. Each part is run through an extensive certification process.
Once the part is found to have the same fit, form and function as a new part, it is accepted and re-finished. After the refinishing process, quality control is performed, and each part is packaged in high-quality packaging to prevent damage in shipping. It is labeled and then ready for sale.
Wherever parts are sourced, be sure that it’s from a reputable company that goes the extra mile to protect the customer’s business, and their customers.