Friday, November 1, 2013

Counterfeit Motorcycles: An Economic and Safety Issue

The rampant trade of counterfeit motorcycle parts is a growing concern among motorcycle manufacturers in the country. Counterfeiting of motor parts does not only cause economic harm and unfair business practice, it also defrauds consumers and poses danger to public safety.

A Honda executive, who requested not to be named, said that they studied how problems concerning counterfeit motorcycles or motor parts relate to accidents.  After disassembling a number of counterfeit or copycat motorcycles and studying their parts, the Honda executive said, “We discovered that the interiors of motorcycles using copycat parts were very rusty and the bolts are not firmly tightened so they tend to disengage easily.”

Honda also discovered that counterfeit motorcycles recklessly combine parts with those copied from some Honda motorcycle Design.  Based on the observations and research of the technical experts from Honda, such combinations can pose certain risks to users.

“Since copy parts don’t usually confirm compatibility tests, there is a high probability that copy parts won’t work well with the bodies or engines of certain motorcycle brands. They’re just not perfectly-matched, that’s why. Makers of copycat motorcycles also don’t have their own research and development (R&D) facility; they just import motorcycle parts and units from China then sell them here, so you can say they lack quality and safety control measures. This is a serious issue since these incompatibilities often result in motorcycles with inferior body structure and vibration.”

To ensure the safety of its customers, Honda Motors has invested heavily in Research and Development (R&D) center in Japan and Asia. Before Honda motorcycles are launched in the market, they should first meet certain technical requirements.  Honda Motors also uses a comprehensive test course for all its products to ensure that they achieve higher levels of vehicle safety.  “Honda Motors remains committed to customer satisfaction, in ensuring they get quality products with perfectly-matched parts which is how motorcycles should be made in the first place,” the Honda executive said.

When asked how an ordinary consumer would know if the parts of a motorcycle are copycat or counterfeit, the Honda executive said, “It’s easy. Honda has applied for Intellectual Property Rights not only in the Philippines but also around the world. This way, we can easily distinguish between copy and genuine products. Recently, copycat motorcycle makers have been using design combinations in their products. By simply riding and test-driving the motorcycle, you will be able to immediately feel and experience the difference. When riding a copycat motorcycle of non-tested combinations at high speeds, you will already feel certain abnormal sense, like unusual vibrations. You won’t experience any of this when riding a Honda genuine motorcycle.”

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