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Dodgy dealing: If a car part seems cheap, it’s probably fake…

MUNICH, Germany – Daimler experts have traced counterfeit products all over the world and more than 1.6-million fake Daimler products were seized through 2019 thanks to the company’s protection policies.

Good news, then for owners of cars in the way more expensive ranges – and possibly saved many injuries – or lives – through product failures.

READ ON to find out how you can protect yourself, your family – and your probably very expensive automobile.

The automakers say the global trade in counterfeit vehicle parts continues to grow: estimates by the OECD, the total volume of trade in pirate products amounts to the equivalent of US$509-billion a year – and rising.

WHICH IS THE FAKE? Well, look at the stress marks on the fraudulent product on the right. Image: Supplied

Daimler AG says it is ”robust in our fight against counterfeiters”. The company co-operates closely in this respect with the appropriate authorities – such as customs authorities.

Renata Jungo Brüngger, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz board member responsible for integrity and legal affairs, told The Corner: “In 2019 we initiated, supported, and accompanied more than 520 raids by the authorities.

”More than 1.6-million fake Daimler products were confiscated: in many cases they were safety-relevant parts such as brake discs. wheel rims (see image above) and windscreens.”

INHUMANE FACTORIES

”Product pirates,” it was reported, ”invest a tremendous amount of criminal energy in this trade and make higher profit margins than illegal drugs.

”In many cases the goods sold by organised counterfeiters are produced in inhumane conditions and below legal environmental standards, workplace safety or human rights.

”We are not talking about parts produced by Mercedes-Benz or other authorised suppliers, but about illegal goods from product pirates.”

Counterfeit parts might be hard for customers to identify, The Corner was told, but in most cases do not meet minimum legal standards. ”They represent a significant risk to the well-being and safety of customers.”

PROTECTION EXPERTS

Brüngger added: “Brand protection is customer protection: Our customers’ safety is our top priority. We pursue a zero-tolerance strategy towards counterfeiters. That’s why we have set up a separate department to put a stop to counterfeiting.”

Brand protection experts inspect suspicious products on online platforms or at trade fairs around the world to identify counterfeiters. Typical alarm signals are a conspicuously low price, anomalies in product quality, and goods being sold by dubious online sources.

…YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

The protection team operates closely with international customs and police. In training sessions and with information materials, they raise awareness of the safety risks and help others to distinguish genuine from fake parts.

”In so doing, the team is also contributing to sustainability – not only in terms of safety but also with respect to human rights and environmental protection.”

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