When you think about Subaru parts, you may not give much thought to whether they are genuine or counterfeit. Unfortunately, cheap counterfeits can pose a serious safety risk and could be putting you and your Subaru in danger. A fantastic example of this is counterfeit wheels, so we’ll explore this subject a little further here. Tests have shown that counterfeit wheels can buckle when you hit a pothole at only 50 km/h, but would you even know if you were driving on fakes?
The Extent of the Problem
Safety experts have concerns that “tens of thousands” of cheap, counterfeit wheels are on Australian roads. These fakes have the potential to break or buckle even if you’re travelling at suburban speed and hit a small pothole. Unfortunately, it is difficult to track down these fakes as many are imported by independent distributors from China. Many of these distributors pose as a private seller on auction sites. Over 500,000 wheels are imported each year from China, but they are not tested to determine if Australian Design Rules are met.
The Hidden Danger
Testing of suspect wheels has also revealed a hidden danger. Not all counterfeits buckle when you hit a pothole. Some fake wheels develop small cracks that cannot be seen by the naked eye near the centre of the wheel. This means that your wheel is at risk of breaking at any moment, potentially causing a catastrophic crash if you’re travelling at highway speeds or on a busy road.
While a counterfeit wheel may look identical to genuine Subaru parts, the underside may lack proper support. This is because counterfeits are usually made with a blend of scrap and raw alloy. Genuine wheels are made with only raw material to guarantee durability and strength.
Even if you are fortunate enough to buy an imported wheel of decent quality, there is also the problem of a limited supply. Most of the importers bring in a load, sell them and bring in another load. This means that if one wheel develops a problem, you’re likely to have a massive problem getting a replacement of the same design. Of course, there is also the risk that the new wheel from a different batch is not the same quality, so you find yourself in the same quandary about safety.
Genuine is Best
While genuine Subaru parts may cost a little more, you do get what you pay for. Genuine parts are made to the exacting manufacturer specifications, so you can be sure of their quality, durability, and performance. So, genuine is always best as you may regret saving a few dollars in the long term.