Want to look like a millionaire on a minimum wage budget? Spend an afternoon shopping in New York City, where you can find any Chinese-made, counterfeit luxury goods you’d ever want. Just like the real stuff, the quality depends on your budget. Spend $20, and your newly acquired Faulex watch may keep time for a day or so. Spend a few hundred in the right shops, and you probably find a Faulex that’s nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. No matter how aggressively manufacturers try to shut down Chinese counterfeit manufacturers, nothing seems to stem the tide of counterfeit goods coming into the country. As long as consumers worship a logo and check their morality at the door, counterfeit goods will continue to be a problem.
Counterfeit Chinese goods aren’t limited to wallets, watches and handbags. As Autoblog reports, counterfeit auto repair parts have made their way into the Chinese auto industry. Some, like gaskets, may not pose much of a threat. Other components, such as brake pads, spark plugs, oil seals and airbags can cause substantial damage or personal injury if they fail. The attraction to auto repair facilities is low cost, since the knock-off parts usually sell for a fraction of the genuine article. Lower cost obviously means higher profit, and component failure guarantees repeat business. For the unscrupulous, it’s a win-win situation.
Counterfeit auto parts are nothing new, and I remember trade magazines warning of the danger of “knockoff” PCV valves and breather filters in my own wrenching days. What’s disturbing is the type of part that’s now being copied; bogus breather filters are one thing, but brake pads manufactured with inferior materials and no quality control are something else entirely.