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  1. Financial Losses to Counterfeit Auto Parts $45 Billion

Counterfeit Auto Parts

News and statistics about fake car parts and counterfeit auto parts. Data collected from auto companies, auto industry officials, safety inspectors and other public information sources.

Customers in Phomh Phen, Cambodia are able to buy fake car license plates from street vendors in the capital.

The price for a fake license costs between $4.50 to $10. A typical Royal Cambodian Armed Forces plate costs $6.50, and is available within the day.

On average, the vendor reports having between 5 to 10 customers each day, with heavy days seeing up to 30 customers. The most popular types of fake license plates are of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces or the police. Other types of plates available are non-government organizations, military police and even press plates assigned to the media.

The vendor pays Cambodian authorities $2.50 every day in bribes in order to allow his business to continue.

Many customers purchase the fake plates in order to avoid safety inspections and to avoid the lengthy and costly process of registering their vehicle or motorbike. A motorbike operator stated that if he went through legitimate channels, the cost to get his license plate would be $35 and would take 30 days. By buying the fake plate, he pays $5 and receives the plate in hours.

(Additional prices of fake identification documents.)

Source: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea, “Vendors with a licence to forge,” Phnom Phen Post, June 27, 2014.

According to company officials, Japanese motor company Nissan losses about $60 Million each year to counterfeit auto parts in the United Arab Emirates. These fake car parts include brake pads, radiators, windscreens and other vehicle parts.

In the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Baharain, Kuwait, Omanm, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the counterfeit auto parts market is estimated to be worth $2 Billion.

(See all information on fake auto parts.)

Source:  Tom Arnold, “Smuggling in the UAE: Counterfeit goods seeping into ports daily,” The National, May 17, 2014.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the sales of counterfeits and smuggling of fake goods into India caused sales losses of $11.9 Billion in 2012. This amount represented 21.7 percent of sales losses to companies.

Some of the consumer sectors that are impacted by counterfeits in India are the auto parts, alcohol, computer hardware, foods, mobile phone and tobacco industries.

(Counterfeit Goods Markets by Countries.)

Source: “2014 Special 301 Report,” Office of the United States Trade Representative, April 2014.


The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India has reported that up to 20 percent of all road accidents that occur in India are due to counterfeit auto parts.  The counterfeiting of parts affected over 400 companies in India.

In addition to the fake auto parts, between 5 to 10 percent of products in the pharmaceutical industry consists of counterfeit drugs.

Source: Vithika Salomi, “Fake spares cause 20% of mishaps: Reports,” Times of India, August 31, 2013.

According to the Kyiv Motorist Club, one out of every three liters of fuel sold in Ukraine is substandard or counterfeit.

The motor club conducted tests at major gas stations and found that 30 percent of the gas did not meet Ukraine or Euro standards.

According to energy experts, the number of filling stations that are checked by Ukrainian officials between 2008 and 2013 fell by a rate of 2.8 times.

Source:  “Every third liter of petrol at Ukrainian filling stations is counterfeit, says study,” Interfax-Ukraine, June 5, 2013.

The smuggling and sales of counterfeit goods in 7 major industries in India leads to a tax loss of $4.5 Billion (261 Billion Indian Rupees) to the government, according to a study by Ficci Cascade (Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy).

The seven industries that were covered in the study included counterfeit auto parts, counterfeit tobacco and alcohol, and fake electronics.

Source:  “Smuggling, tax evasion cost `26k cr,” Statesman, June 5, 2013.

In February 2013, security officers in Saudi Arabia and the General Motors Global Investigations team seized over 50,000 counterfeit ACDelco parts. Among the fake auto parts that were seized were oil filters, air filters and wiper blades.

Source:  “50,000 counterfeit auto parts seized in KSA raids,” ConstructionWeekOnline.com, March 25, 2013.5

The World Trade Organization estimates that the counterfeiting of auto parts around the world results in the loss of some 250,000 jobs.

Across all industries, the WTO estimates that counterfeit goods causes 750,000 jobs to be lost.

Source:  “Kingdom top in detection of counterfeit vehicle parts,” Saudi Gazette, February 27, 2013.

Counterfeit auto parts in the Middle East is estimated to be a $1 Billion market.

Saudi Arabia was ranked first in the 2011 Global Customs Organizations Annual Report of detecting counterfeit auto parts within its border.

Source:  “Kingdom top in detection of counterfeit vehicle parts,” Saudi Gazette, February 27, 2013.

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that counterfeit airbags that can be installed in 0.1 percent of the entire vehicle fleet in the country, or about 250,000 cars on the road. Around tens of thousands of the counterfeit airbags are believed to have been installed in vehicles.

Vehicles that have had their airbag replaced at a repair shop instead of the dealer are at high-risk of having a counterfeit airbag installed.

In August 2012, police seized nearly 1,600 counterfeit airbags from an auto mechanic in North Carolina. The counterfeit auto parts ring that was broken up was buying fake airbags from a plant in China, where the bags were being sold for $50 to $70 each. Authorities say that an authentic airbag costs much higher.

In the first 9 months of 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized around 2,500 counterfeit airbags in the United States.

Source:  Associated Press, “Counterfeit air bags called ‘extreme safety risk’,” Google News, October 10, 2012.