WABCO Automotive SA has issued a caution to customers against using copy parts in original WABCO systems. “Copy parts may fail more frequently than original parts and may be prone to dangerous leakage, failure and critical loss of performance. This can mean possible danger, both for drivers and other road users,” says General Manager Enoch Silcock.
“In this economic climate, every company wants to save money, but experience has proved that cutting costs by buying copy parts can cost much more in the longer term. Carrier companies risk being confronted by breakdowns that create significant add-on costs, such as extended downtime and breakdown call-outs.
“Original WABCO parts are certainly more costly than the copies out there, but with good reason. The price reflects extensive international research and innovation. WABCO is a worldwide Tier 1 supplier and every WABCO factory in the world produces parts according to internationally recognised standards, together with the necessary quality guarantees and warranties. Professional training and technical support is also readily available to our customers, together with access to diagnostic tools.”
“The quality of WABCO parts assembly is assured by the use of tooling specially made for serial production, regular auditing of our sub-suppliers and the attention of professional in-line testers.”
Silcock adds that while copy parts are marketed as inexpensive alternatives to the original parts and may appear identical to them, there are no guarantees of quality, reliability and in service lifespan, among other unknowns.
“The performance of copy parts can only be determined once they’re on the road, often at great cost to the carrier company,” he says. “When these parts fail prematurely, there is no recourse to be had from the seller. “WABCO conducts regular comparative tests of its products versus copy parts and results invariably reveal alarming risks associated with the performance of the copies. For example, we recently ran a test on an ABS modulator, during which both the original WABCO modulator and the copy version were subjected to salt spray testing to simulate the effect of a corrosive environment.
“In as little as 24 hours, while the WABCO unit remained unchanged, the copy version began to corrode visibly, revealing various defects, including leaks arising from damaged seals. This type of damage can lead to water entering the system and reducing the ABS functionality.
“Another example is a copy hand brake valve that operated incorrectly while exhausting pressure, resulting in a sudden decrease of pressure down to 0bar. The consequences of this incorrect valve function in an emergency situation, could result in injury, possible death and loss of capital equipment, not to mention the legal repercussions.
“We are passionate about safety and are very concerned about the increasing number of copy parts flowing into the market,” Silcock concludes. “Only genuine WABCO parts offer reliable protection of a company’s huge investment into carrier vehicles.”
“We therefore urge carrier companies to think twice before considering buying copy parts that bring with them significant potential add-on costs further down the line.”