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New research has found using non-genuine utility tray bodies can cause significant damage to the original vehicle and compromise its safety.

Testing of two non-genuine utility tray bodies by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) saw trays fail on several critical criteria.

The aftermarket trays cracked chassis rails in durability testing, corroded rapidly in corrosion testing and were built with unacceptable weld quality.  There was evidence of the trays separating from their mounting points on the vehicles.

The testing also revealed the non-genuine trays could damage the vehicle body and paint, and could cause suspension mounting failure, with the potential for the leaf springs to fall out. The chassis and suspension tune could become unstable, the tray could rip itself off and electronic aids like ABS and traction control may fail.

Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Senior Development Engineer Spiros Katsigiannis said the non-genuine parts’ inferiority was due to insufficient testing and development.

“These parts might fit your car, but they aren’t fit for purpose. These parts can degrade a vehicle to total failure. In many cases a cracked chassis means the vehicle you rely on is dangerous until expensive repairs are completed, if the chassis can actually be repaired.

“The difference between these parts is in the testing. Genuine parts have testing complete before the product goes into the market. For many non-genuine parts, the testing is done by you, out on the road.”

FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said vehicle brands’ investment in component development made the difference.

“Vehicle manufacturers invest heavily in making sure every part on your car is fit for purpose. The engineering effort is enormous. Non-genuine part makers’ priority may often be just making the part fit the vehicle.  How it interacts with other systems… you might not know until it’s too late.”

The FCAI’s Genuine is Best initiative focuses on the safety, performance and durability benefits delivered by genuine replacement parts.

Genuine parts are made or selected by the vehicle’s maker and rigorously tested by that maker as an integral component of the vehicle to meet high quality, safety and performance standards.

This ensures a vehicle will drive, function and protect in the way it was intended.

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