Britain’s Intellectual Property Office has now started a comprehensive new information campaign to combat counterfeit spare car parts. Amongst those lending support to the authority are German car manufacturers Audi and BMW.
However, illegal copies such as these are often made from inferior materials and without adequate quality control, meaning that what seems like a bargain can quickly lead to serious accidents and vehicle damage.
“That’s the wrong place to go and try to save money. In the end, it’s all about car safety and your own life,” stresses Audi Brand Protector Serhyi Jewtymowycz.
This is also shown in a striking way in a performance test conducted by BMW, which the company recorded as part of the UKIPO campaign to demonstrate the safety risks that can be accompany counterfeits.
According to the Audi Brand Protection Team, however, many customers find it very difficult to identify counterfeit products, especially when shopping online—for example, because counterfeiters’ websites often look deceptively genuine and professional.
This is where the UKIPO and its information campaign come in, now offering customers practical support for buying spare car parts on a dedicated website. This includes tips on how to avoid knock-off products, as well as information about important steps to take if customers have already fallen victim to product piracy. The website also features other content, including the latest blog posts from Audi, in which staff from the company’s own Brand Protection Team introduce their work in the fight against product piracy and offer concrete tips on how customers can recognise counterfeit car parts.
The UKIPO sees the campaign as a real opportunity: “This collaboration between government, industry and law enforcement offers us an opportunity to raise awareness, change consumer behaviour and remove these dangerous products from the market,” says Dr Lynch in praise of the measures.