The Retail Motor Industry (RMI) organisation has urged government to clamp down on importers of counterfeit vehicle parts.

The Retail Motor Industry (RMI) organisation has pledged to assist its affiliated automotive spares dealers and urged government to clamp down on importers of counterfeit vehicle parts.


Counterfeit vehicle parts were not only dangerous but also took about R1 billion in business away from legitimate dealers every year, said the RMI's quality and standards executive, Giel Steyn.


Steyn said the makers of these counterfeit parts labelled these spares with "internationally renowned brand names" to hide their poor quality and “the real cost was to local manufacturers of parts because they are undercut in price by the counterfeit imports”.


"Thousands of jobs are being threatened and even economic growth could be stemmed unless pertinent attention is afforded to this growing problem,” RMI chief executive Jeff Osborne said on Monday.


It was believed that counterfeit spares flooded into the country because very few parts were covered by quality standards, Osborne said, adding that demand for these parts was also encouraged by the "culture" of driving unsafe vehicles in the country.


Steyn said the RMI helpline received more than 13 600 complaints a year, and 40 per cent of the calls were about inferior spare parts.