Auto firms up the ante on fake components

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Top auto companies are putting their weight behind the drive against counterfeit components. From conducting raids on fake manufacturing units to sensitising garage owners, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors and Hero MotoCorp are in action mode.

Tata Motors has conducted as many as 19 raids across the country since March this year. The exercise was elaborate. The company involved its legal team and spare parts department along with government agencies to conduct raids in New Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Vijayawada and so on. In the process, it identified five manufacturers of Tata Motors counterfeit parts, packaging materials and stickers. First information reports have been filed in all these cases.

Sanjeev Garg, vice-president and global head (customer care, commercial vehicles) at Tata Motors, says, “Easily available spurious parts such as clutch parts, filters, gear box parts not only affect the aggregate life but is also a major threat to everyone around and is one of the biggest reasons for road accidents.”

In April this year, the country's biggest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp, along with the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police, raided some establishments in the capital's Karol Bagh area and seized almost 70,000 items of critical replacement parts and counterfeit packaging materials and labels. The company said it would further intensify its action against counterfeiters, as the use of spurious parts can lead to severe repercussions in a vehicle, including vehicle failure and triggering a fire.

The problem of counterfeit spares is restricted to the aftermarket. According to the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (Acma), counterfeit components account for more than one-third of the Rs 40,000-crore annual aftermarket in the country. An Acma-EY study estimates that one-fifth of all road accidents in India are directly or indirectly attributed to the use of counterfeit automotive parts. Early this year, during the Auto Component Show, Acma set up an asli-naqli pavilion where a dozen component makers including Bosch displayed the difference between original and fake parts.

The country’s biggest car maker, Maruti Suzuki, says its strategy is to reach out and educate the independent workshops, which are the main influencers. Difference between Maruti genuine parts and non-genuine parts is physically explained by teams from the company, said a spokesperson. In FY16, the company conducted 75,000 sessions with such workshops. The company also takes legal actions against people involved in manufacturing, packaging and retailing of counterfeit Maruti parts. In recent months, raids have been done on 49 counterfeiters.

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