These five tips can help you identify counterfeit aftermarket auto parts.
 - Photo of traffic in Interstate 80 near Berkeley, Calif., via Minesweeper/Wikimedia.

These five tips can help you identify counterfeit aftermarket auto parts.

Photo of traffic in Interstate 80 near Berkeley, Calif., via Minesweeper/Wikimedia.

In an effort to protect both customers and retailers from potential safety and financial risks, GMB North America, an auto parts manufacturer, recently released information and an infographic on how to detect counterfeit auto parts.

Counterfeit auto parts continue to plague the industry, as they create financial and reputation problems for manufacturers and suppliers as well as pose numerous safety risks.  While it is hard to quantify, some experts including the American Composites Manufacturers Association say counterfeit auto parts are directly or indirectly responsible for up to 20% of road accidents. 

The ecommerce space is particularly vulnerable to carrying fake parts, notes GMB — and even the most trusted online stores could unwittingly pass along counterfeit products.

According to GMB, there are several ways to spot inferior aftermarket parts and keep them out of a retailer's inventory. This, in turn, prevents counterfeit part installation on customer's vehicles — making roadways safer for everyone.

GMB offers the following five tips to recognize fake parts:

Cheap Packaging

Authentic auto parts typically arrive in good quality boxes with good quality printing. Anything packaged in a flimsy or sloppy manner may be a tip off that it's a fake.

Missing Part Number

Authentic parts usually contain the part number printed on the box while counterfeit ones tend to print the number on a sticker.

Typos and Misspellings

Packages and instructions from reputable manufacturers are free of errors. If your package and/or instructions come riddled with typos and misspellings, check the product carefully as it may well be inauthentic.

Incorrect Instructions

If instructions don't make sense — or there is missing information in the instructions — it's a red flag.

Part Doesn't Look Right

Compare the new part to an old part and carefully evaluate it. If there are differences in weight, dimensions, and other details, it may be a fake.

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