Hundreds of fake vehicle air and fuel filters have been seized from an address in south east Northumberland.
Northumberland County Council Trading Standards, working in partnership with representatives of PSA (Vauxhall), seized more than 500 fake filters – the largest haul by the authority on these types of products.
The filters, bearing the names of Citroen and Peugeot, were seized from a premises in south east Northumberland.
The investigation into the seizure is ongoing and further operations may take place across the country at businesses who have received such counterfeit goods.
Paul Foster, PSA manager of corporate and brand protection investigations, said: “The PSA Group is very concerned about the menace of counterfeit parts.
“There is clear evidence that the counterfeiting of spare parts and accessories has increased year on year, and unfortunately it has now become a worldwide issue.
“PSA would like to thank Northumberland Trading Standards for their support.”
Coun John Riddle, cabinet member for planning, housing and resilience, said: “Over the years, our Trading Standards Service has dealt with counterfeit sportswear, DVDs and even vodka, but it is a very worrying development that counterfeiters are now supplying car parts. This shows that these criminal have no regard for their customers at all.
“This seizure is an important step in ensuring consumers are not deliberately deceived by products bearing trusted company names.”
David Sayer, business compliance and public safety unit manager, said: “PSA came to us with evidence that a company outside of the UK had been supplied counterfeit parts by a local business.
“We were initially very concerned that safety critical parts were being supplied.
“Although that wasn’t the case, we understand that these counterfeit filters will still affect a vehicle’s performance, fuel consumption and emissions.”
If anyone has any concerns about parts that have been fitted to their vehicles, they should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.