Investigation Finds That 60% Of Spark Plugs Purchased Online Are “Verified Frauds”

If you’re thinking about buying spark plugs online, you might want to reconsider as an investigation has found that 60% of them are counterfeit.

Conducted by Australia’s Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) and a “coalition of automotive manufacturers,” the investigation found that a majority of the hundreds of spark plugs they purchased online were “verified frauds.”

Even more alarmingly, they’re virtually indistinguishable from ‘real’ spark plugs. Many looked perfectly fine and even came marked and packaged with Honda, Nissan, Mazda and Toyota branding. As FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said, “We have experts examining the packaging and spark plugs, and even they can barely tell the difference. You won’t know it’s a fake, until it’s too late.”

Also Read: From ED Pills To Airbags, Porsche’s Counterfeit Team Confiscated 200,000+ Items Last Year

Genuine spark plug on left, counterfeit on right

While the spark plugs look legitimate, they use low quality materials and have “inferior construction.” This can best been seen when the spark plugs are cut in half but, sometimes even then, it can be hard to tell them apart.

Unsurprisingly, ‘fake’ spark plugs can hamper performance and potentially damage your engine. According to FCAI, their low quality can cause poor ignition, poor fuel economy and poor engine start ups. They can also overheat and cause a “major drop in engine power, particularly under heavy acceleration or load.” If they continue to overheat, the spark plugs can melt and cause extreme engine damage.

The organization didn’t name the websites where the counterfeit spark plugs were purchased, but said the “automotive industry is working with relevant online trading platforms to remove listings and ban sellers of the illegal counterfeits from their sites.” Of course, the best way to protect yourself from fake parts is to buy from dealers, auto parts stores or legitimate online retailers.

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  • Aeromann

    That’s why I take NGK, nothing else.

    • Mr. EP9

      You sure those were the real deal?

      • Aeromann

        From an official distributor yes.
        I never had any problem with them.

  • Porkopolis

    We already know there’s a fake BMW factory in Russia. I’m pretty sure a good portion of good bought and sold online are fake.
    Much of reality is fake, for that matter.

  • salamOOn

    so there is no useful information from this investigation for a buyers…..

    • brn

      Because then their scare tactic wouldn’t be as effective.

  • Ary Wisesa

    I once bought a pair of Sony handsfree. When it arrived, i tried it right away, only to find it sounded so bad. I immediately understood that it was fake. That was the last time I bought electronic device online, and I swore to myself not to buy any electronic device online again, ever. I went back to more traditional mean of purchasing: at the authorized stores or dealers.

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