Courtney Allan

Money & Banking

FAKE CAR PART SCAM: Have you been hit?

FAKE CAR PART SCAM: Have you been hit?

Counterfeit spark plugs with the potential to destroy engines are at the centre of an automotive industry sting, with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) saying that 60 per cent of spark plugs bought online are designed to fool customers.

A spokesman for FCAI said that spark plugs that are sold as genuine Honda, Mazda or Toyota items have the potential to “melt and cause extreme engine damage”.

Tony Weber, chief executive for the FCAI, says motorists and technicians should be careful when sourcing automotive parts.

However, representatives of these popular car brands said that they have no records of fake spark plugs ruining engines in recent months.

There have been a variety of fake parts seized in Australia, including wheels that shatter when they hit a pothole, brake pads made of asbestos and oil filters that don’t protect engines from damage.

There are also examples from overseas, which include brake pads made from compressed grass. 

Avoiding a fake can be tricky, but Mr Weber has a word of warning.

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

“We have experts examining the packaging and spark plugs and even they can barely tell the difference. You won’t know it’s a fake, until it’s too late.”