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Toyota Aust acts on counterfeit airbags

POSTED BY Nigel Andretti ON 12 August 2015

TOYOTA Australia has initiated legal action against two independent retailers that the company alleges have sold counterfeit airbag parts that could pose a potential safety risk.

The Federal Court action follows a recent News Corporation report confirming a Toyota dealer bulletin advising of the discovery of counterfeit cables that send power to the firing mechanism in the driver’s front airbag and must be replaced with the airbag after deployment.

Toyota said in the dealer bulletin that the counterfeit parts were being sold by a pair of independent suppliers to independent repairers and potentially to Toyota dealers, all of whom may have mistakenly believed they were genuine parts.

airbag

Toyota Australia confirmed the Federal Court action in a statement released late on Monday afternoon, GoAuto reports.

“Following a six-month investigation, Toyota Australia has today lodged Federal Court proceedings against two independent retailers that have been selling counterfeit airbag spiral cables and advertising them as genuine Toyota parts,” the statement read.

“The legal action relates to ‘trademark infringement’ and ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’.

“We are concerned that customers have been misled into believing they have purchased a genuine Toyota part.”

Toyota Australia said internal testing revealed that the fake parts were of “inferior quality”, which poses a potential risk to customers, and added that all the company’s genuine parts undergo “rigorous testing” before sale to ensure they work, whereas counterfeit parts do not go through the same testing process.

“It is our expectation that the independent retailers will contact the impacted customers to advise them that they have purchased counterfeit parts and replace the airbag spiral cable with a genuine Toyota part at no cost to the customer,” the company said.

“We want to take this opportunity to reiterate to customers that the spiral cable would only have been replaced if their vehicle was involved in an accident and the airbag deployed. Customers are assured that the Toyota dealer network only uses genuine Toyota parts.”

The company added said that it would not be commenting further on the issue given it is now a matter for the Federal Court.

The airbag issue is not related to the massive global recall involving Japanese company Takata’s potentially faulty airbags that has scooped up about 53 million vehicles around the world and has been blamed for six deaths and hundreds of injuries.

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