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Press Kits

2017 FCAI Genuine Is Best Media Conference

  1. LAB TESTING REVEALS RISK OF HIGH SPEED HOOD FLY-UP
  2. NEW WEBSITE GIVES CONSUMERS THE POWER TO REPORT CAR FAKES

LAB TESTING REVEALS RISK OF HIGH SPEED HOOD FLY-UP


Motorists around the country are being exposed to serious crash risks after laboratory testing on non-genuine parts by GM-Holden engineers has revealed flaws and sub-standard materials used in a critical safety design feature on imported hoods.

The non-genuine part has failed under testing, which would result in the hood of the car suddenly flying up and slamming against the windscreen, leading to a loss of driver vision and control. The ramifications of such a shocking incident at high speed are of grave concern to the industry.

The non-genuine hood striker wire, responsible for keeping the hood assembly safely latched during vehicle operation, failed GM-Holden's critical testing criteria.

An in-service failure poses a serious risk of hood fly-up at high speed, smashing into the cabin through the windscreen glass and totally obscuring driver visibility.

The part tested by GM-Holden was sourced from a self-certifying parts manufacturing and importing operation contracted to major Australian insurers, and which distributes to collision repairers.

GM-Holden Engineering Group Manager Rowan Lal headed the test project, which was undertaken on VF Commodore hoods (bonnets).

"The non-genuine hoods tested are demonstrably inferior. Dangerous defects in the striker wire are present due to poor manufacturing processes and a hazardous lack of research and development on the materials used," Mr Lal said.

"The non-genuine striker wire failed our pull strength testing, with the wire's hardness falling dangerously below our design specifications.

"The hood slam testing we conducted, using our factory-specified cycles, indicated excessive wear and a sawing effect on the striker wire.

"Normal road driving would rapidly exacerbate this wear rate. A significant potential exists for striker wire wear-through, striker wire separation from the hood assembly and a serious potential for the hood to fly open while driving."

Genuine Is Best ambassador Mark Skaife has condemned the use of these inferior quality parts and the safety risk they present.

"I have seen a hood suddenly fly up at high speed during a motor race," Skaife said.

"An incident out on the road, with oncoming traffic or in a high-speed situation, would be absolutely terrifying.

"For the consumer and perhaps even the unwary crash repairer, what's deceitful about these non-genuine parts is that they are designed to fit and look like the genuine thing. It's only when they are subjected to testing that it is shown they cannot perform or protect to the same level as a genuine part. And in this case, they are outright dangerous."

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said consumers need to be aware that non-genuine parts are regularly used in vehicle repairs without customers being aware, and only by insisting on genuine can the consumer be reassured that they are getting a part which is fit for purpose, tested in situ with the vehicle for which it is designed, and backed by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.

"This component test, together with the previous tests we have conducted and the seizures internationally of huge volumes of counterfeit, fake and non-genuine parts reveal the extent of the problem," Mr Weber said.

"For instance, who knows how many thousands of these non-genuine bonnets, with their inferior quality materials and manufacturing processes, have been used already in repaired cars now driving on our roads?

"That's both a deception and an unacceptable risk, and consumers deserve to know about it.
"We urge consumers to ask their car insurer up front: Do you use genuine parts in repairs? And if not, why not?"

The lab test findings by GM-Holden follows on from pedestrian head impact testing on the same hoods undertaken by Adelaide University's Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) last year.

In addition to the poor fit and finish found in the non-genuine hoods, the results of the CASR test indicated that the non-genuine parts increased the chance of a traumatic brain injury in the event of a pedestrian impact. Further information about those test results can be found here.

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For more information, please contact:

Nick Green, Account Manager
Genuine Is Best
02 8908 8834 / 0403 993 941
nick.green@theprojectgroup.com.au


Peter Brewer, Communications Manager
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries
02 6229 8221 / 0403 062 652
peter.brewer@fcai.com.au

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NEW WEBSITE GIVES CONSUMERS THE POWER TO REPORT CAR FAKES


An online reporting hub empowering consumers to submit a report aimed at assisting investigators in the detection and seizure of counterfeit car parts has received support from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Launched today by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the Genuine Is Best campaign website www.genuineisbest.com.au/report-a-counterfeit enables consumers to submit details of parts they suspect may not be the genuine article.

Recent international seizures have indicated the scope of the counterfeit parts problem, with raids in China and the Middle East unearthing massive volumes of sub-standard and often dangerous parts potentially headed for Australian shores.

Consumers who believe they have been sold or had their car fitted with a counterfeit part can report the details via the reporting hub.

This information will be provided to the Original Equipment Manufacturer so that it may investigate any breaches of its intellectual property rights.

The OEM will then submit a formal notification to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The Department is empowered under Federal legislation, specifically the Trade Marks Act 1995 or the Copyright Act 1968, to take action in respect of the alleged breach, which could include the seizure of the property.

Erin Dale, Commander Customs Compliance in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, said more information would assist in curtailing the counterfeit issue.

"The Department works in partnership with the automotive industry to prevent counterfeit car parts from crossing the Australian border," Cmdr Dale said.

"It enforces intellectual property rights through Australia's Notice of Objection Scheme, which enables it to seize importations of counterfeit and pirated goods at the border. Each year we enforce over 600 Notices of Objection on behalf of brand owners.

"During the 2015-16 financial year we seized more than 190,000 individual items of counterfeit and pirated goods worth about $17 million.

"Programs that allow the Australian public to report counterfeit goods to brand owners may draw attention to counterfeit goods, so brand owners are in a position to advise the Department of suspected imports of counterfeit goods.

"The more information that the Department has on suspected counterfeit goods, the greater its ability to identify and intercept these goods.

"With a Notice of Objection Scheme in place, the industry's expertise will assist us to detect infringing goods at the border. We encourage the industry to refer information to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, such as details of known importers or shipments of goods."

The online reporting site supports FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber's call for more attention to be placed on dangerous automotive components.

"With the striker wire test outcome, we have seen just one more demonstration of how a non-genuine part presents a serious safety risk to consumers. By developing this online reporting capability we are empowering consumers and asking them to join us in our fight against the counterfeiters," Mr Weber said.

"Millions of dollars worth of counterfeit car parts seized over the past 12 months in warehouses from China to the Middle East have demonstrated the scale of this issue. It's an international trade which has been estimated to be worth US$20 billion a year.

"The component testing the FCAI has undertaken has shown that the manufacturing processes counterfeiters are using are capable of creating parts that look up to the job, but in circumstances where they need to perform and protect vehicle occupants they are not fit for purpose and, in many cases, are downright dangerous.

"This is where we need the help of Australian vehicle owners. By taking an active role in uncovering these counterfeit components, panels and parts, consumers are not just protecting themselves and their fellow road users, but also working to assist the Australian Government in curbing their illegal importation and distribution."

Consumers who believe they have been sold a counterfeit car part can submit the details at www.genuineisbest.com.au/report-a-counterfeit.

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For more information, please contact:

Nick Green, Account Manager
Genuine Is Best
02 8908 8834 / 0403 993 941
nick.green@theprojectgroup.com.au


Peter Brewer, Communications Manager
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries
02 6229 8221 / 0403 062 652
peter.brewer@fcai.com.au

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