Toyota counterfeit woes extend to brake parts

Toyota HiLux uteToyota's problems with counterfeit parts in Australia have just got bigger, as fake brake parts have also been discovered in the supply chain.

The carmaker issued a confidential bulletin to its dealer network last week which indicates that thousands of counterfeit brake pads for the popular HiLux utility vehicle and HiAce vans as well as commuter buses may have been sold to unsuspecting buyers.

Toyota recently filed a lawsuit against two independent retailers in Australia accusing them of knowingly selling counterfeit airbag components.

The counterfeit brake pads - which contain asbestos - were being sold as genuine Toyota parts but at a fraction of the price, according to the bulletin, which suggested the issue would only affect vehicles serviced outside Toyota's authorised dealer network.

There are estimated to be more than half a million of the vehicle models at risk of the counterfeit parts in Australia, mostly the HiLux ute, and the company is concerned that mechanics working in its dealerships may have been exposed to hazardous materials.

Independent testing commissioned by the carmaker confirmed that the brake pads were counterfeit and dangerous.

News of the fake brake pad problem came as the authorities in both Australia and New Zealand have warned the public to beware of purchasing counterfeit wheels that are at risk of catastrophic failure, placing the driver, other motorists and pedestrians at risk.

Tests conducted by Mercedes-Benz on some counterfeit wheels indicated they could faily when hitting a pothole at just 50kmh.

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