Hyundai Motor has launched a dramatic new awareness campaign today, aimed at warning drivers in the USA of the risks involved when using counterfeit automotive parts. The campaign highlights the differences between Hyundai Genuine Parts and non-genuine parts which may not necessarily be counterfeit but obtained through recycling or salvaged from junk yards.

The integrated media, advertising and public relations campaign focuses on safety and resale value. It includes a series of videos (which can be found on the Hyundai USA’s YouTube channel ) with the first one titled ‘Don’t Gamble with Counterfeit Parts’. The videos and dealership displays with examples of original and fake parts will help consumers see the differences first hand. In addition, Hyundai is also communicating the consumer awareness campaign via e-mail to its current owners.

These image show the difference between a non-genuine airbag system and a genuine one where the fake (or reconditioned) item on the left does not inflate during a frontal collision

“Counterfeit Hyundai parts have been a growing problem over the last 30 years,” said Frank Ferrara, Executive Vice-President, Customer Satisfaction, Hyundai Motor America. “Customers would see short-term savings after their vehicle was repaired, not even aware that non-Hyundai parts were used to bring these repair costs down. Short-term savings can have adverse long-term implications on the vehicle and passengers, which ultimately ends up costing more.”

“Consumer awareness is essential to addressing this issue and Hyundai is willing to do its part. The more people who understand the dangers behind using non-Hyundai components and see the benefits of purchasing original parts, the less likely they are to suffer severe consequences and lose value on their car. Safety and trust are paramount to our brand, which is why we are launching this campaign to encourage everyone to purchase original parts, every time,” he added.

Due to perceived high costs, motorists sometimes choose, or are told by their insurance company, to visit independent repair shops that are not recognized by the automakers for collision repairs. Some of these shops offer copies of original parts or recycled components from existing collision-damaged vehicles at a lower cost. Often, these parts are unsafe for long-term use and pose a great danger to safety.

Counterfeit and recycled crash parts also affect the vehicle’s appearance and decrease its resale value. Hyundai encourages the use of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts on all Hyundai vehicle repairs because they are designed and manufactured to meet Hyundai’s engineering specifications.

Hyundai does not recommend the use, or re-use, of components removed or recycled from an existing collision-damaged vehicle. Owners need to be aware that there is a possibility their repair facility is using non-original equipment parts or parts that have been damaged due to a prior collision or element exposure.

While this campaign is run in the USA, its message also applies to motorists in Malaysia. The same issues are also present in the local automotive industry and the manufacturers also try their best to create awareness of the dangers and negative effects of using non-genuine parts. This applies to repairs as well as regular servicing such as the replacement of oil filters or air filters.

From the outside, it would not be easy to tell a genuine oil filter (right) from a fake one (left) but when you examine the inside, then the differences are evident. It is best to buy from authorised service centres or reputable parts dealers to ensure you get the genuine item
It is important to ensure that genuine parts are used during repairs as non-genuine parts may fail or not work properly

There are regulations which make it illegal to sell counterfeit parts but it is not always easy to identify such parts as they are packaged almost identically to the original items. The thing that should tip off consumers is where a part is unusually cheaper than the original. It is best to buy replacements parts from authorised service centres or from reputable parts stores.

A point to note too is that while the manufacturers offer genuine parts that are made to their high standards, there are also parts which are made by third parties which are not counterfeit. These are parts made by reputable companies, many of which may also be the same suppliers of genuine parts to manufacturers. They produce parts for certain models under their own brand which can fit correctly and function reliably but are cheaper. However, they may not have identical quality standards as the genuine parts. More importantly, if they are used, then the factory warranty will be cancelled.

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