Counterfeits of name brand goods is nothing new. We’ve seen it for decades with everything from sports apparel to designer watches and purses. Counterfeiting goods is big business, primarily overseas, where cheap manufacturing and little or no protection of brand names and trademarks allows criminals to slap a name brand on a cheap imitation.
In recent years the counterfeit business has even infiltrated the performance aftermarket. With an increasingly global marketplace for parts, enthusiasts may not even be aware that the “good deal” they’re getting isn’t on the genuine article. Aeromotive recently put out a warning to consumers regarding counterfeit parts wearing their brand name but being manufactured overseas and sold by retailers who aren’t authorized dealers.
So why pay more for the name brand? Aside from the fact that by purchasing from a counterfeiter you’re essentially supporting a criminal organization there are several other reasons why you shouldn’t purchase counterfeit performance parts. First is the quality. Companies like Aeromotive have skilled engineers developing and designing their products. Those parts are built with high-grade materials under strict quality controls. In the case of counterfeit parts, you really don’t know what is inside the parts. Second and more important is safety. In the high performance realm we all rely on quality performance parts to perform as they should. Fuel system components need to perform properly to ensure the engine is fueled properly, and for any number of safety concerns. A leaking or a poorly performing counterfeit part could result in engine damage, as well as increasing the potential for catastrophic damage caused by a fire as the result of leaking fuel or a failed component.
Knowing The Difference
Counterfeit operations are getting increasingly better at making their fakes. The first defense any consumer has is common sense. If the deal on new parts sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Second, you can check the Aeromotive web-site to find authorized dealers in order to make sure you’re buying from someone who deals directly with the company. Last you can look for the obvious. Compare the products being sold to products on the Aeromotive site. There are subtle differences things like the fonts used in logos, the color of anodizing on parts, or the alignment of the text in the logo.
Getting real parts the first time will save you a lot of headaches in the long run with parts that fit and work like they’re supposed to and the support you expect from a quality company. In the end you’ll also be supporting the companies who make our hobby possible and the people who work for those companies. Aeromotive will be updating their counterfeit list periodically to include new offenders as they find them and keep their customers informed.