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Mrunal Manmay Dash

When you drive a Mercedes in India, more than a vehicle, it becomes a status symbol for the owners. Moreover, with a premium price tag and sophisticated technology, the German automaker makes it a point to provide the much desired status quotient to its owners.

But, recent developments which summoned a press release by the company about fake/counterfeit spare parts have put the car owners in a fix.

During the pandemic over the past two years, product pirates increasingly used online platforms and social media channels to offer counterfeit goods. It requires much more efforts for brand protection experts to research the online trade in counterfeit products. Counterfeit goods can be placed on online platforms at very short notice and sold with the support of social media.

Speaking at a presser, Renata Jungo Brüngger, member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Integrity & Legal Affairs said, “The counterfeiting industry has organised crime structures and often generates higher profits than drug trafficking. We are working closely with authorities around the world in order to curtail these structures and combat threats to road safety.”

As per the Merc press statement, the global trade in counterfeit Mercedes-Benz products continues to increase. In 2021 alone, more than 1.86 million counterfeit products were seized in over 650 raids. This is a significant increase of around six per cent compared to the previous year, 2020.

Counterfeit products are not only illegal, they are also relevant to safety and can endanger the health of road users. That’s why Mercedes-Benz is taking rigorous action against such counterfeit products. The measures focus on components such as brake discs, wheels and body and steering parts. The quality of counterfeit products is usually poor and they do not meet the minimum legal requirements in terms of safety. Therefore, counterfeit products pose a significant risk to the health and safety of road users, said the statement.

In many cases, organised counterfeiters have their goods produced under inhumane conditions with no regard for human rights, environmental standards and occupational safety.

The company urged its customers and road users to support the prevention of product counterfeiting in their daily lives by checking unusual offers very carefully. Typical indicators of counterfeit products are an extremely low price, conspicuous product quality or sale via dubious online sources, Merc said.

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