Four auto parts businesses in Queens and Manhattan were charged with selling potentially dangerous knockoffs as name brands such as Ford and Chrysler, prosecutors announced yesterday.
According to the New York Daily News, the parts from the Middle East and China include ignition coils, sway bars and brake pads, and can wear out faster than more expensive name-brand parts, investigators said.
The investigation by prosecutors, police and Taxi and Limousine Commission officials focused on dealers who serviced taxi cabs and government vehicles, but prosecutors aren’t sure if any of the fake parts were installed in those vehicles.
The investigation began in May after cops received a tip about the illegal sale of counterfeit parts. Detectives went to several garages in Manhattan that service taxis and government vehicles, where they found allegedly counterfeit parts.
They then traced the supply invoices to six automotive parts outlets – two in Manhattan and four in Queens – and raided them all, seizing $700,000 U.S. worth of fake parts and charging the owners with trademark counterfeiting, prosecutors said.
Detectives recovered thousands of allegedly fake auto parts, including taillights, air-conditioning parts, brake master cylinders, stabilizer arms and water pumps.
“Counterfeit auto parts have recently started turning up in New York City, where they are being sold in outlets in all five boroughs,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “The automotive industry estimates that it loses globally about $12 billion a year from the illegal sale of counterfeit replacement automotive parts.”
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