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Buy from reputable firms, warn auto parts traders
Published:2016-03-07 20:03:02
CHEAP car parts do not necessarily mean good value, a pair of Linden traders are warning.

Paul Rigby, who owns 10 Ten Motor Factors on Bristol Road, believes that the rise of cheap auto parts and fakes found on the internet means that people can be driving around in unsafe vehicles.

He said: "We are worried that motorists do not question why some parts are so cheap.

"If it is [selling for] well below the average price, then buyers should be questioning that.

"We will not sell items that we do not trust and have specific, reliable brands that are known for their quality."

He said this meant that they charged more than some online retailers, because they are sending quality brands at reasonable prices – rather than unknown brands at knock-down prices.

"People often go for the cheapest option," he said. "But they don't consider the safety ramifications which would not only affect them but also their family in the car with them.

"They do not think of the bigger picture, that they never get into the car alone but are jeopardising the lives of others too."

Mike Pollock had to close his business Foreign Auto Parts, on Pearce Way, in August after 31 years of trading because of the loss in trade.

He said: "If you think about it, those going to a supermarket will often buy a well-known brand because instantly they can tell the difference in taste. But people do not behave that way with car parts.

"However there are specific brands which are known for their reliability and for lasting a long time.

"In the case of brake pads, it will probably be that the one time when you need them the most they will fail because they are made for well under the average price."

He added: "It did not help my business when several bigger companies moved to Gloucester, which already had too many auto parts firms."

Pete Williams, spokesman for the RAC, agreed that motorists should shop around for prices and that very cheap prices did not necessarily mean people were getting a bargain.

He said: "While we cannot comment on local situations, there are specific recognised brands which offer quality products. We would encourage motorists to shop around for good value products while recognising that the cheapest items may not necessarily be the safest and the most long-lasting."

In the USA, the Government is warning car owners of counterfeit airbags.

A wide variety of counterfeit auto parts has long been a well-known problem, industry officials there said.