Multi-country automaker and law enforcement cooperation led recently to the interception of a large quantity of fake Toyota parts.
Australian auto industry lobby group FCAI said "a massive haul" of counterfeit Toyota car parts, a "significant proportion" destined for sale in Australia, was uncovered in Guangzhou City in south-east China in a raid conducted by Chinese police acting on information provided by Toyota Australia.
Around 33,000 fake parts, with an estimated retail value of over A$1m, including filters, cables and seals plus safety-critical items such as airbags, brake master cylinders and brake pads were seized.
The replica parts were produced in a large-scale manufacturing facility and authorities also identified around 55,000 packages branded in the style of Toyota Genuine Parts, complete with barcodes and serial numbers.
The company concerned is also known to manufacture car parts counterfeiting those of other Japanese automotive brands, FCAI said in a statement.
Ford Australia has also recently intercepted fake parts, including alloy rims to suit high-performance models and air intake snorkels and grilles for the Ranger light commercial while local General Motors unit Holden has seized counterfeit parts including body panels, alloy rims, grilles, tail lights and radiators.
Information leading to the Guangzhou raid resulted from Toyota's recent federal court proceedings against two local retailers selling what the FCAI called "dangerously inferior counterfeit airbag components".
As a result of the settlement of those proceedings, the retailers agreed to contact all affected customers and offer them a refund.
Details of the source manufacturer were also supplied to Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan, which worked with its Chinese subsidiary to orchestrate the raid.