Counterfeit Auto Parts
You Get What You Pay For
"They came to us with the product and proposed
to do a joint venture based on their ability to have a reduced
infrastructure," he says.
DEARBORN, MI — From brake-shoe linings made from
shredded grass to fully assembled counterfeit engines, imitation parts
are becoming a serious issue for automakers, their suppliers and
service facilities. Counterfeit parts have become so pervasive; the
automotive industry has trouble determining the full impact.
That's what Tom Strohm, general director marketing for General Motors
Corp.'s Service and Parts Operations, tells members of the Motor &
Equipment Manufacturers Association at a recent meeting about the issue.
Criminal organizations and sometimes even "legitimate" companies
manufacture and package imitation parts passed off as genuine. The
parts often are produced in foreign countries and shipped to the U.S.
and other markets where unscrupulous distributors sell them to the
public at automotive parts stores. "We really don't know how big this
problem is," says Strohm.
Analysts estimate counterfeit automotive parts cost the industry at
least $12 billion a year worldwide in lost sales, $3 billion in the
U.S. alone. That doesn't include the damage caused to the brand name or
goodwill a company has built up. Counterfeit parts in many cases are
defective and certainly not covered by warranty.
The Federal Trade Commission, in 1995, estimated counterfeit parts cost the U.S. 210,000 automotive manufacturing jobs.
The problem presents not only an industry-wide economic challenge, but
also a safety hazard for consumers who end up using defective products.
In one example cited, a family of seven in Nigeria was killed when
their counterfeit brakes failed. Some overseas counterfeit brake pads
were found to be made of nothing more than steel wool and pressed wood.
There are indications that counterfeit operations help fund terrorist organizations, Strohm says.
GM spends a lot of time educating dealers and other agents that
purchase and sell its parts how to discern between what's genuine and
what's fake. A significantly lower price is one sign of a counterfeit
product. Other giveaways are poor labeling and packaging that often
have misspellings or other variations. But counterfeiters are becoming
increasingly savvy, says Strohm. The products are priced just below
genuine parts, making them less noticeable. Also, many counterfeiters
now have sophisticated packaging and labeling operations. In some
cases, the imitation parts are remarkably like the original. Jason
Bonin, vice president-business development and lighting technology for
Hella North America Inc. recounts how one company copied some of
But dealers and retailers should evaluate the quality of the parts
being purchased. Often, there are variations in size, color, shape or
texture that could indicate a part is fake. There also may be
installation problems with counterfeit parts. Auto makers and suppliers
are learning to be vigilant in protecting their property. Both GM and
Ford Motor Co. have teams of investigators that do nothing but hunt
down counterfeit operations. GM has shut down more than 400 operations
worldwide since 1984. Federal Mogul, a parts supplier, recently
established a counterfeit parts fighting team. Ford Parts Brand
Protection Team, along with local authorities, recently raided an
Eastern European company that was manufacturing bogus Ford
New Data Shows Seat Belt Use On The Rise
More Americans than ever are wearing their safety belts with
usage rates climbing in 34 states this year, according to U.S.
Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.
In 2005, safety belt use ranged from 60.8 percent in Mississippi to
95.3 percent in Hawaii. Others breaking the 90 percent belt use barrier
included Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Michigan, California,
Puerto Rico and Maryland.
Mississippi registered the lowest safety belt use in the nation
followed by Massachusetts, Kentucky, Arkansas, South Dakota and Kansas.
New Hampshire and Wyoming were the only states not to report
statistically reliable estimates of belt use rate for 2005.
"Safety belts are useless unless people make the effort to wear them,"
Mineta said. "It's good to see more people taking their safety
seriously, but we'll save the celebration for the day when everyone
buckles up," he added.
Earlier this year, Secretary Mineta announced that the nationwide
survey conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) showed belt use rates have hit the milestone of 82 percent --
the highest level in the nation’s history. Secretary Mineta also
announced earlier that fatalities had hit a historic low: 1.46 deaths
per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
At a rate of 82 percent, NHTSA estimates that safety belts are
preventing 15,700 fatalities, 350,000 serious injuries, and $67 billion
in economic costs associated with traffic injuries and deaths every
In addition to the life-saving benefits of increased belt use, Congress
created additional incentives for states. Under the Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
(SAFETEA-LU) enacted August 10, an added $498 million will be available
to states over the next four years. States must either adopt a primary
law or achieve 85 percent belt use for two years in order to be
eligible for the grants.
The state-by-state statistics were derived from data collected by the
states’ own surveys, conducted in accord with criteria established by
Old Automobile Trivia
On December 1, 1924, Ford Motor Co. announced price reductions ranging from $5 to $25 effective
December 2, bringing the price down to the lowest level in the
company’s history. The price of their Touring car was reduced to $290,
and the Coupe to $520.
Are You An Aggressive Driver?
Express frustration? Taking out your frustrations on your fellow motorists can lead to violence or a crash.
Fail to pay attention when driving? Reading, eating, drinking or
talking on the phone can be a major cause of roadway crashes.
Tailgate? This is a major cause of crashes that can result in serious deaths or injuries.
Make frequent lane changes? If you whip in and out of lanes to advance ahead, you can be a danger to other motorists.
Run red lights? Do not enter an intersection on a yellow light.
Remember flashing red lights should be treated as a stop sign.
Speed? Going faster than the posted speed limit, being a "road
racer" and going too fast for conditions are some examples of
PLAN AHEAD. ALLOW YOURSELF EXTRA TIME.
Concentrate. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by talking
on your cellular phone, eating, drinking or putting on makeup.
Relax. Tune the radio to your favorite relaxing music. Music can
calm your nerves and help you to enjoy your time in the car.
Drive the posted speed limit. Fewer crashes occur when vehicles are traveling at or about the same speed.
Identify alternate routes. Try mapping out an alternate route.
Even if it looks longer on paper, you may find it is less congested.
Use public transportation. Public transportation can give you some much needed relief from life behind the wheel.
Just be late. If all else fails, just be late.
WHEN CONFRONTED BY AN AGRESSSIVE DRIVER
Get out of the way. First and foremost make every attempt to get out of their way.
Put your pride aside. Do not challenge them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
Avoid eye contact. Eye contact can sometimes enrage an aggressive driver.
Gestures. Ignore gestures and refuse to return them.
Report serious aggressive driving. You or a passenger may call
the police. But, if you use a cell phone, pull over to a safe location.
TIME - Treasure Every Moment You Have
there is a bank which credits your account each morning with $86,400,
carries over no balance from day to day, allows you to keep no cash
balance, and every evening cancels whatever part of the amount you had
failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent,
of course. Well, everyone has such a bank.
Its name is TIME.
Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes
off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a
new account for you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you
fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing against tomorrow. You must
live in the present of today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it
the utmost in health, happiness and success. The clock is running.
Make the most of today.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has failed his final exam.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE DAY, ask a daily wage laborer who has ten kids to feed.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask the person who has missed the train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask the person who has survived an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLI-SECOND, ask the person who has won a gold medal at the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have. Time is a coin you can spend only
once. Use it, invest it, make it count, and treasure it more because
you shared it with someone special. Special enough to have your time
and remember time waits for no one.
(Obituaries Courtesy The Standard Times)
Note: Due to recent requests, we will be adding family survivors to our customer’s obituaries as space allows.
Miriam V. "Bunny" (Kelley) Noonan,
85, of North Dartmouth, died Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2005, in St. Luke's
Hospital following a long illness. She was the widow of Gerald Noonan.
Born in Charlestown, Mass., she was the daughter of the late James
Kelley Sr. and Catherine (O'Hara) Kelley. She was a resident of
Dartmouth for the past 42 years. Mrs. Noonan was a graduate of
Charlestown High School and a communicant of St. Julie Billiart Church.
She was an assembler for US Ring Binder in New Bedford for several
years until she retired. Mrs. Noonan enjoyed embroidering clothing for
dolls. Survivors include three sons, Kenneth Noonan, Richard Noonan and
Paul Noonan, all of North Dartmouth; two sisters, Margaret Kelley and
Dorothy Gasbarro, both of Woburn; and several nieces and nephews. She
was a sister of the late James Kelley Jr.
David A. Bancroft,
66, of Mattapoisett, died Saturday, Sept. 10, 2005, unexpectedly at Bay
State Medical Center while participating in a bicycle event. He was the
husband of Margaret M. (Walsh) Bancroft. Born in New Bedford, he was
the son of the late Arthur D. and Theresa V. (Murray) Bancroft. He
lived in Mattapoisett most of his life and was a communicant of St.
Anthony's Church. Mr. Bancroft was the president of Bancroft Oil and
Sea Gas. He was an avid bicyclist who participated in many events
including the PanMass. Challenge. He enjoyed participating in the New
Year's Day L Street Brownies Dip. Mr. Bancroft enjoyed sports and
played semipro baseball for Bancroft Oil. Survivors include his widow;
a son, David J. Bancroft of South Boston; a daughter, Robin L. Bancroft
of Fairhaven; four brothers, Robert C. Bancroft and his wife, June, of
Barnstable, J. Richard Bancroft and his wife, Eleanor, of Lakeville,
John S. Bancroft and his wife, Carol, of Dartmouth and James G.
Bancroft and his wife, Connie, of Somerset; three sistersinlaw,
Claire Bancroft of Middletown, R.I., Jeanne Bancroft of Mattapoisett
and Mary Ann Bancroft of Dartmouth; and many nieces and nephews. He was
the father of the late Michael A. Bancroft, and brother of the late
Arthur D. Bancroft Jr., William Bancroft and Paul F. Bancroft.
Sheila Ann (Collins) Isherwood,
68, of Dartmouth, died Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2005, in St. Luke's Hospital
after a brief illness. She was the widow of John H. Isherwood Jr. Born
in New Bedford, she was the daughter of the late Stephen and Anna
(Wynn) Collins. She grew up in New Bedford before moving to Dartmouth
46 years ago and was a communicant of St. Julie Billiart Church,
Dartmouth. She graduated from New Bedford High School. She worked as a
secretary for the Sociology and Anthropology Departments at UMass
Dartmouth for 33 years and retired three years ago. Mrs. Isherwood
enjoyed dancing. Survivors include a son, John H. Isherwood III and his
companion, Donna Luiz, of North Dartmouth; two daughters, Nancy Murphy
and her husband, Tom, of South Dartmouth and Susan Isherwood of North
Dartmouth; and two grandchildren.
Richard "Turk" Gonsalves,
78, of New Bedford, died Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005, at St. Luke's
Hospital following a brief illness. He was the husband of Fernanda
"Fern" (Souza) Gonsalves. A lifelong resident of New Bedford, he was
the son of the late Simon P. and Mary (Costa) Gonsalves. He was a
communicant of St. John the Baptist Church. An Army Air Corps veteran,
he attained the rank of Private First Class and received the World War
II Victory Medal and the Marksmanship Badge with the Carbine. For over
10 years, he was a junior engineer aide for the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts Highway Department. He worked for the state's racing
commission at various racetracks for many years. Mr. Gonsalves served
on the New Bedford Redevelopment Authority from 1963 to 1968, appointed
by Governor Endicott Peabody. Survivors include his companion, Frances
(Marlowe) deSousa of New Bedford; a son, David Gonsalves of South
Dartmouth; two daughters, City Councilor Jane Gonsalves of New Bedford
and Anne Cathcart of Taunton; a brother, Simon P. Gonsalves of
Acushnet; three sisters