Beware! The Parts Could Be Imitation
When it comes to auto parts, that old saying is definitely the case. Imitation auto parts have become a serious problem in recent years. And it doesn't just hurt brands such as ACDelco - it hurts you, the person buying the parts, as well. It's worth your while to read on and find out more about this problem.
What are imitation parts?
Imitation parts manufactured, packaged and represented in a way to mislead the public. Imitators often duplicate a trademark exactly, or alter it just enough that the average customer won't notice the difference. The people who make and sell these fakes want you to think you're getting a part produced by a reputable brand such as ACDelco, but you're not! Also, most fake parts distributors use trademarks without obtaining the owner's permission. This is a criminal offense that can land them in jail!
Why Should I care?
While imitation parts may be cheaper, they could cost you a lot more in the long run, and we're not just talking about money.
Imitation parts typically don't last as long as genuine parts, making it necessary to replace them more frequently, which ends up costing you more money! Also, considering these parts typically aren't built to your car's specifications (as ACDelco parts are), they can lead to other mechanical problems and system breakdowns, which could set your bank account back even further. Worse yet, fake parts could cause major safety problems for you and your loved ones.
How to Spot a Fake...Or Ensure You Have a Genuine...
It isn't easy to spot a fake. That's because the really good counterfeit parts makers work long and hard to fool consumers. Here are a couple of tips to help you tell a phony from the genuine article:
- If you're not installing the part yourself, ask the person who is if you can see the part and package.
- Inspect the packaging. If it appears flimsy, lacks the name brand or logo, or has graphics or a name that is similar to, but not quite the same as, those you're used to seeing (i.e., AZDelco instead of ACDelco), it could be counterfeit. Counterfeiters often use colors, artwork and type fonts on their packaging that are similar to the original.
- A competitive market drives variation in price among reputable manufacturers; however, extremely large differences in price should cause you to be suspicious.
- Remember, because counterfeiters have become very sophisticated as technology has improved, a visual inspection of the product may not be enough to distinguish genuine parts from the fake. Insist on ACDelco parts from authorized dealers and retailers.
- In an effort to make counterfeiting even more difficult for imitation parts producers, ACDelco is now affixing a distinct mark on certain parts. This mark will assist officials in distinguishing genuine products from their fake counterparts.
ACDelco is concerned about counterfeit parts for a number of reasons. First, fake parts cast a shadow on our reputation as a provider of high-quality replacement parts. Second, they lead to a loss in sales as well as jobs. Since we at ACDelco have worked hard to establish and maintain our reputation, we take it personally when counterfeiters jeopardize our status. We are working side by side with law enforcement agencies as well as other automotive manufacturers to battle counterfeit parts makers. We're also working with investigators and prosecutors to help convict anyone caught counterfeiting.
What to Do If You Suspect a Part Is Fake
Take it back to the place where you purchased it. Most legitimate dealers/retailers consider their customer service and reputation to be the most important parts of their businesses. And most will do whatever is necessary to make good on the purchase. If you suspect a part you purchased is fake, or if you know anything that could lead to the conviction of counterfeiters, please contact the Global Brand Protection Team and report your suspicions.
Global Brand Protection Team
If you suspect that the automotive parts you have purchased are counterfeit, please fill out the information form.
Once you have completed the information form you can:
- E-mail by pressing the "E-mail Form" button located on the information form
- Print and fax information form to: (313) 665-6672
- Print and mail information form to:
- Call the Awareline at 800-244-3460
ATTN: Global Brand Protection
300 Renaissance Center
Detroit, Michigan 48265
ALL PERSONAL INFORMATION WILL REMAIN STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
Please save the part, the packaging, the invoice and the receipt until we contact you (if you choose to be contacted). If you wish to send the part, you may use the above address.YOU SHOULD RECEIVE A RESPONSE WITHIN FIVE (5) BUSINESS DAYS.