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Counterfeit car parts could cause drivers thousands

Counterfeit spark plugs have been found on eBay and other sites, which could ruin vehicles and cost Australian drivers enormously.

The fakes are at the heart of an industry sting as they have the potential to ruin engines.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) says 60 percent of spark plugs purchased through suspect sellers online have been confirmed as fraudulent parts that were made to fool consumers.

Unsuspecting motorists won’t know that they’ve purchased fakes until something goes wrong with their car, as the packaging and parts are strikingly similar to their real counterparts.

A spokesperson for the FCAI says that spark plugs misleadingly sold as genuine have the potential to “melt and cause extreme engine damage”.

Counterfeit goods seized in Australia uncovered the following suspect goods; wheels that shattered upon contact with potholes, oil filters that didn’t protect engines from sustaining any damage and brake pads made from asbestos. Overseas, it was found that some counterfeit brake pads were made from compressed grass.

Chief Executive for the FCAI, Tony Weber, cautions motorists and technicians to be wary when sourcing car parts.

“The best way to avoid a fake? Make certain your parts are purchased from the authorised dealer network,” he said.

Mr Weber said that experts that inspected the packaging and spark plugs could hardly see the difference. “You won’t know it’s a fake, until it’s too late.”

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