Police in Casablanca, Morocco, have found and destroyed about 500 rubber V-ribbed transmission belts in a warehouse, after being tipped off by the manufacturer, ContiTech Power Transmission Group in Germany.
The police also found counterfeits of other ContriTech products in raids on other retailers, and products pirated from other manufacturers, reports TireBusiness.com. The retailer that prepared the V-belts for sale was arrested and faces legal prosecution. Police are trying to find out who made and distributed the phony belts.
“In addition to counterfeits of other manufacturers’ products, ContiTech rip-offs were discovered during raids on several retailers,” says Pricing Manager Europe and Trademark Protection Officer Steffen Than at ContiTech. “We acted quickly and took the appropriate measures together with all those involved.” He was quoted in Premium Presse.
A belt is a loop of flexible material used to link two or more rotating shafts mechanically. V-belts, in the shape of a “V,” slip into a mating groove in the pulley so that it has more grip and less of a chance to slip off.
The company cannot determine how much it loses in revenue each year because of pirated products. But it has a comprehensive program to protect itself as much as possible against counterfeiters. The approach involves organizational, technical, legal, and communications measures, says Helmut Engel, head of the automotive aftermarket at ContiTech.
“We inform and warn retailers and garages of the dangers involved in using pirate products,” he says. “Pirate products have substandard material properties and inferior workmanship. High maintenance and repair costs, even engine damage, are the result.”
Belts are the main target of counterfeiters among ContiTech’s products, the company says. Air spring bellows also are favorite target among thieves.
Source: “Police seize counterfeit ContiTech V-Belts,” TireBusiness.com, 9/5/12
Source: “ContiTech Lands Blow Against Product Counterfeiting in Morocco,” Premium Presse, 9/4/12
Image by PHGCOM.
Dale McGeehon has been a journalist and editor for more than 25 years, covering chemical regulation and testing for Pesticides and Toxic Chemical News and innovations in material sciences for the National Technology Transfer Center. His writing credits include Omni and College Park magazines and The New York Times.