The Retail Motor Industry organisation believes 10 per cent of vehicle parts sold in South Africa are counterfeit, and on Tuesday pledged to assist in the prosecution of importers of fake components.

The Retail Motor Industry (RMI) organisation believes 10 per cent of vehicle parts sold in South Africa are counterfeit, and on Tuesday pledged to assist in the further prosecution of importers of fake components.


CARtoday.com reported last month quoted an RMI spokesman as saying that counterfeit vehicle parts, which compromised the reliability of cars and hence road safety, took about R1 billion in business away from legitimate dealers every year.


RMI chief executive Jeff Osborne on Tuesday said the RMI had been instrumental in obtaining a criminal conviction, imposed a month ago, on a counterfeit importer of fuel pumps, some of which caught alight under test.


quoted him as saying that the case was the first local criminal conviction obtained against an importer of counterfeit parts: "It took almost two years from prosecution to sentence, but it was a milestone and set a precedent.


RMI was also concerned that with more than 900 model derivatives available on the local market, availability of spares in the aftermarket was "worrying". The number of "chop shops" was a cause for alarm and Osborne added the shortage of spares gave rise to demand "and exacerbates the hijacking phenomenon".


Meanwhile, Osborne also revealed that the RMI had recently signed a protocol with the insurance industry, on a more economical labour rate for the collision repair industry. This was intended to bring down the incidence of fraud.


He said the previous labour rate of R90 an hour imposed by the insurance industry on collision repair work had led to creative invoicing and a desire to replace rather than repair.


Osborne added that the rate of replacement parts to repairs was 60 to 40 but had been turned around to 40 to 60, after the new labour rate had led to the cost of repairs last year rising by only nine per cent when the cost of spares increased by 18 per cent.