R5 million worth of fake bearings in a Johannesburg warehouse have raised concerns among industry players about the continued proliferation of counterfeit goods and the dangers associated with using substandard parts.
In February, R80 million of illegal automotive friction materials were destroyed at the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications, an agency of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.
Vishal Premlall, national director of the Tyre, Equipment and Parts Association (TEPA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organization, said counterfeit products are only part of the problem.
He is also concerned about the proliferation of substandard parts that are flooding the market and compromising consumer health and safety. He said the problem with these parts is that there is very little to no traceability, no technical support and no consumer recourse.
TEPA National President Johann van de Merwe said that to limit access to these illegal and substandard auto parts that appear to be entering our borders through compromised processes, TEPA is actively engaging relevant compliance authorities to prevent these parts from entering the automotive aftermarket. . “TEPA is also developing a whistleblower hotline where cases of illicit business activity can be reported by both industry and consumers. We believe that these partnerships between industry and legal compliance authorities will go a long way in ridding the country of unscrupulous business activities and therefore call on all other stakeholders to join in this scourge. For consumer peace of mind, it’s imperative to only use accredited parts outlets, where you’re assured of quality products and access to recourse should anything go wrong,” Van said. of Merwe.
As the economy continues to tighten, more and more of these inferior products are seeping through and falling into the hands of cash-strapped consumers who don’t realize the full impact of using spare parts. substandard or counterfeit, as they are called in the trade.
At a recent South African Motor Body Repairers Association conference, Layton Beard, Public Affairs and International Relations Manager for the Automobil Association of South Africa, gave a presentation on road safety in South Africa and made reference to statistics available from the Road Traffic Management Corporation, showing that in December 2020, 602,085 vehicles in poor condition were circulating on our roads.
Beard showed that when you look at the number of fatalities for the same period, 9,969 people lost their lives, of which 29% were drivers and 30% passengers.
“While it is impossible to establish a direct correlation between the total number of annual fatalities on our roads and the number of unsafe and unsafe vehicles, the numbers paint a grim picture. The reality is that over the in the last decade, from 2011 to 2020, there were 129,031 fatalities due to 8,300,000 accidents,” he said.
Premlall agreed with Beard that making vehicles safer, and reducing the unacceptable number and cost of road deaths, must be a top priority for all South Africans. Inferior and illegal components do not make the situation any easier.
“The only way for consumers to protect their rights is to ensure that they are purchasing parts from an authorized outlet. This gives them peace of mind that all parts purchased or used carry a traceable identity from a reputable parts manufacturer, and more importantly, provides them with recourse in the event of a problem.
“If the seller can ensure the traceability and integrity of the parts, the consumer runs much less risk,” he concluded.
Source: PR Findley