The Truth About Genuine Parts & Authorised Dealers: They're Fake News

The car industry implies differently, but your warranty does not depend on you using genuine parts and authorised dealers. Despite the spin, there are plenty of quality aftermarket alternatives that will save you cash without voiding your warranty

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PRESERVE YOUR FACTORY WARRANTY & SAVE CASH:
FOUR CRITICAL STEPS

 Nobody cares what brand the oil is - what matters is that it meets the carmaker's specification grade requirements for your engine (and that you change it at the proper interval).

Nobody cares what brand the oil is - what matters is that it meets the carmaker's specification grade requirements for your engine (and that you change it at the proper interval).

1. SHOP AROUND

Any time your car needs a service or repairs, shop around. Service quotes vary widely between dealerships and in the independent service sector (independent mechanics). Always ask for quotes for the standard service items. For example, ask the service provider to quote you on the standard service items for the 30,000km service (or whichever one is due) on your car.

Remember that getting the servicing done at an independent workshop does not void your warranty. It is illegal for carmakers to decline warranty claims on this basis.

If an authorised dealer wants your business, they should be competitive. If you don't know where to start on the quoting front, and you don't have your own trusted mechanic, get a convenient servicing quote now from Sparesbox's Expert Mobile Mechanic Service >>

2. QUALIFIED STAFF

According to the ACCC, the person doing the work must be adequately qualified. In practise, this means they must be a licensed mechanic. Don't get a backyarder to do it, and don't do it yourself if you want to preserve your warranty.

 
"If the manufacturer’s warranty states that the vehicle can only be serviced by an authorised dealer, this is likely to raise concerns under the Competition and Consumer Act." - ACCC
 
 Replacement parts don't have to carry the carmaker's brand name - they just have to be quality parts that are fit for purpose, and your factory warranty will be preserved

Replacement parts don't have to carry the carmaker's brand name - they just have to be quality parts that are fit for purpose, and your factory warranty will be preserved

3. ON TIME

Servicing is on the basis of time or distance - whichever occurs first. If the service interval on your car is 12 months/15,000km you must have the car serviced before the 12 months elapses or before you drive 15,000km - whichever occurs first. (The correct service interval for your car is documented in the handbook.) If you exceed the time or the distance, the carmaker might be in a position to decline a warranty claim, regardless of where you get the car serviced.

Additionally, all the jobs specified on the servicing schedule need to get done.

4. FIT FOR PURPOSE

You absolutely do not have to use genuine parts to preserve your warranty, but according to the ACCC, the parts you do use need to be fit for purpose. In other words, and parts or consumables you use need to be designed for your car. A simple example is oil filters: you do not need to use a genuine Nissan (or whatever) oil filter. A quality filter from a non-genuine supplier (for example, Ryco) will not void your warranty.

STILL NOT CONVINCED?

Download this statement on warranty >> from the ACCC (PDF), or see what Choice has to say on the issue >> (scroll down to the end and read 'How to keep your car manufacturer's warranty intact.'

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Nissan Australia: A company you might think of as an importer and wholesaler of new motor vehicles. In fact, it recently became Australia’s top manufacturer, packager and disseminator of Genuine A-Grade Automotive Bullshit. Be nauseated here >>

The Academy Award for the most sexist comment ever in a bullshit automotive marketing campaign goes to Nissan Australia, with this priceless exchange in a recent video marketing campaign:

HER: “You don’t look like a brake pad”
HIM: “How would you know? Have you ever seen one?”

Fifty per cent of the people who buy cars are women, you misogynist dipshits. (I’m not referencing any individuals here - my comments are my honest personal opinion and relate solely to the decision to run this appalling campaign taken collectively by Nissan Australia.)

 Nissan took the brave decision to depict non-genuine brake pads as the Muppet in the mask, above right... Breathtakingly sexist.

Nissan took the brave decision to depict non-genuine brake pads as the Muppet in the mask, above right... Breathtakingly sexist.

Fifty per cent of the people who buy cars are women, you misogynist dipshits. (I’m not referencing any individuals here - my comments are my honest personal opinion and relate solely to the decision to run this appalling campaign taken collectively by Nissan Australia.)

Among couples buying cars, women typically hold the right of veto. So, well done there, alienating those potential veto voters, you Muppets. It would after all be safe to assume that there are women who have actually seen a brake pad, and even more who know precisely what they do.

So - congratulations there. The car industry: keeping true sexism alive since the whole Adam-rib debacle.

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STRANGER DANGER

Nissan’s most infantile, annoying and nauseatingly intelligence-insulting marketing campaign ever (that’s a big call) targets non-genuine parts, with all the intellectual rigour of a late-night Donald Trump tweet. Parts like:

  • Bullbars.
  • Brake pads.
  • The terrible scourge of non-genuine wiper blades.
  • Non-genuine oil filters.
  • Allegedly antisocial non-genuine roof racks.
 Believe it or not, this fool (talking about the fictional character, not the actor) is supposed to be an oil filter

Believe it or not, this fool (talking about the fictional character, not the actor) is supposed to be an oil filter

COMMENT

Nissan’s ‘Beware of Strangers’ campaign likens non-genuine parts to stranger danger … for the mentally retarded. According to Natalie Momsen, Senior Marketing Manager Aftersales Marketing, Nissan Australia (marketing, marketing, marketing):

“This is one of the most exciting campaigns we’ve ever done.” - Natalie Momsen, Nissan Oz

Tragically enough, that’s probably true. Edge of the seat excitement at Nissan Marketing Aftersales Central. Still, excitement is becoming a pillar of the Nissan Australia marketing operation.

Amazingly, Advertising agency V.I. was unashamed to be publicly associated with partial responsibility for inflicting this Nissan stranger danger travesty on the public. Speaking to Campaign Brief, Chris Winterton, creative director of V.I. allegedly said:

 
"We've used a good dose of humour to create intrigue and bring these quirky strangers to life.” - Advertising agency V.I.
 
 First time ever a set of wiper blades has been depicted as an annoying, ageing wino...

First time ever a set of wiper blades has been depicted as an annoying, ageing wino...

Personal opinion: Au contraire, Mr Winterton.

  1. Humour doesn’t actually work that way. In fact, if I ever wake up in a parallel universe where that constitutes humour, I’m hoping there’s a Dr Kevorkian franchise just down the street. Because I’ll be needing it.
     
  2. With all due respect I’d suggest that all you’ve done is prove that intelligence-insulting ‘shit’ remains intelligence-insulting ‘shit’, even if you shoot it on an Arri Alexa. And thanks very much for making Australians seem intellectually impoverished to the entire world.

Although these are perhaps subjective determinations, I’m pretty sure the majority of the population would be with me on this.

 ...and of course this fool in black (the character) is supposed to be a non-genuine bullbar

...and of course this fool in black (the character) is supposed to be a non-genuine bullbar

WHY THIS MATTERS

The reason I am talking to you about this stranger bullshit campaign right now is not just to have a little chortle at Nissan’s and V.I.’s expense.

My jihad on bullshit is like an itch that I can’t scratch, and there is certainly a serious dimension to this Nissan ‘Beware of Strangers’ bullshit.

(Kindly note ‘bullshit’ is not the same thing as ‘lies’ - I’m not accusing them of that. I’m using the definition produced by Professor of Philosophy Emeritus from Princeton University, Harry G Frankfurt - the world’s pre-eminent authority on bullshit. And no reference to individuals is implied or intended.) More on bullshit >>

Advertising agency V.I. says:

 
“This campaign came in response to an industry-wide focus on the concerning trend around untested and counterfeit parts” - Advertising agency V.I.
 

If this statement were defensible, I don’t think any of us would have a problem with Nissan’s Beware of Strangers campaign. The execution would still seem infantile, but dodgy no-name parts from Christ knows where, built in the absence of quality standards: Run them down all you want. Knock yourselves out.

And counterfeit parts - these typically have all the quality of the dodgy no-name parts - but are made to look identical to the genuine part. And often sold fraudulently as such. Passed off as if the real thing. As if genuine. Counterfeit parts are illegal, and there’s a whole legislative and law enforcement apparatus devoted - somewhat imperfectly - to stamping that out.

So if this campaign were merely a Hulk Hogan knee in the testes for dodgy and/or counterfeit parts - you could let the intelligence insulting execution slide, perhaps. But it’s not. I watched every one of these shameful dry-heave-inducing ‘infomercials’ and they never once referenced ‘counterfeit’ parts.

AFTERMARKET PARTS: NOT FAKING IT

 Unfortunately for the marketing luminaries at Nissan, the vast majority of aftermarket parts are neither counterfeit nor poor quality

Unfortunately for the marketing luminaries at Nissan, the vast majority of aftermarket parts are neither counterfeit nor poor quality

The single biggest slice of the non-genuine parts market is not the dodgy no-name crap, nor the illegal knock-offs. Non-genuine parts include a massive slice of totally law-abiding, high quality parts from reputable businesses doing a great job in adding competition in the marketplace and providing you with lower cost alternatives.

Check out the competitive pricing on replacement parts for your car at Sparesbox >>

The Beware of Strangers ‘Sesame Street’ logo (depicted above) is clearly designed to make all non-genuine parts appear criminal. That’s disgraceful, deceitful and unethical.

According to the ACCC, parts and service are the most profitable business units in a new car dealership. Here, Nissan, and the car industry generally, is running a disinformation campaign designed to discredit high quality, credible aftermarket parts, and they are wrapping this bullshit sandwich in bread made of semantic promiscuity.

Non-genuine is simply not conflatable with dodgy, counterfeit and illegal. Suggesting that it is should be beneath a multi-national carmaker. It just makes them arseholes.

AFTERMARKET PARTS: OVERWHELMINGLY HIGH QUALITY

For example, Rhino Rack is an Australian manufacturer of non-genuine roofracks. Good ones. I wonder how they feel about Nissan implying that their product - of which they are justifiably proud - might just treat your prized pushie like this:

DBA - Disc Brakes Australia - makes non-genuine quality brake rotors and pads for road and race applications. They are technically innovative products and the quality is outstanding. DBA even makes some genuine parts for carmakers - so DBA absolutely manufactures to OE standards or better. They’ve been doing it for more than four decades.

Implying that, simply because it is non-genuine, that a DBA product might behave in the manner depicted by Nissan is just a weapons-grade bullshit position to take.

ARB is a massive, publicly listed Australian company renowned for its bullbars and off-road adventure accoutrement. They’re pretty good at it. And by ‘pretty good’ I mean they sold $382 million worth of that stuff last year. 28 per cent of those sales were overseas - so it would be fair to say they’re an impressive Australian exporter of manufactured goods.

Take note: GM, Ford and Toyota. Products made in Australia can be profitably exported. Not only that, 7.6 per cent of ARB sales were direct to vehicle manufacturers in the form of genuine (note that word) genuine bullbars and other items.

When you contrast Nissan's lame personification of an oil filter against Ryco Filters - a big name in the replacement filter game here in ‘Straya. Ryco has been doing its thing since 1936. So that’s 81 years of solid track record. Ryco says this about its products:

Ryco Filters designs, develops and tests filters to meet or exceed the filters as specified by the global automotive vehicle manufacturers.

Which seems very different to the absurd depiction by Nissan of an oil filter dumping a load of use-by date expired smoky personal lubricant all over himself, for kicks, but perhaps I’m just looking at this the wrong way. Ryco is ISO 9001 and/or ISO/TS 16949 standards compliant.

Any implied suggestion that a Ryco product, simply by virtue of its non-genuineness, is the filtration equivalent of Nissan's portrayal, complete with a bad personal lube habit, is outrageously flawed and breathtakingly bullshit.

This Beware of Strangers campaign … ‘one of the most exciting campaigns we’ve ever done’ … is attempting to sell you on the benefit of genuine parts. I’d suggest that the benefit is entirely self-serving for Nissan Australia - a company that got brain damage in the GFC, spent the next 10 years in a coma and then apparently decided not to bother any more - at least when it comes to selling cars.

SIX REASONS WHY AFTERMARKET PARTS ROCK

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Just for balance, therefore: I thought it might be prudent to detain you briefly with the top six reasons to buy a quality, trusted non-genuine part over a genuine bullshit-wrapped and brain damaged Nissan alternative - every day of the week.

1. YOU'LL SAVE MONEY

It’s going to save you cash. Considerable cash. This is because the quality aftermarket part does not have to keep a shiny new car showroom afloat - therefore it simply does not need to carry the same outrageous overheads as the genuine part. There’s a direct hip-pocket inducement to shop non-genuine.

2. IT WON'T BURN YOUR WARRANTY

It will not affect your warranty. The ACCC is very clear on this. Carmakers cannot mandate the used of genuine parts or leverage your warranty against using only genuine parts. Doing so would be uncompetitive and illegal.

3. IT'S MORE PATRIOTIC

(I must say this is a friggin’ biggie for me): Aftermarket parts are often the patriotic choice. If you mourn the loss of Holden and Ford’s local manufacturing, spare a thought for the Rhinos and the Rycos and ARBs and ROHs and DBAs - who, in stark point of difference to Holden and Ford, are actually AUSTRALIAN companies manufacturing their hi-tech products here in Australia.

I’d be telling Nissan to jam it where the Pope fears to wash the Altar Boy when it comes to filters, brakes, wheels, racks and bars, et cetera. Why not do your bit for Australian engineering and manufacturing by buying Australian parts? There’s an idea. Keep the manufacturing here, keep the jobs here and keep the brains trust in-house.

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4. MORE TRANSPARENT STANDARDS

There’s often greater transparency with aftermarket parts. See, if you buy alloy wheels from a carmaker, all you’ll hear are fluffy bullshit claims about meeting the highest standards.

If you buy your alloy wheels instead from the local boys at, say. ROH you know that they are built to exceed the requirements of a sadly optional alloy wheel standard - one that’s actually very tough to pass - called AS1638. That’s a huge plus.

The car industry has tried this whole 'counterfeit/disinformation' caper before with alloy wheels. Another disgraceful piece of spin (pardon the pun) >>

5. MIGHT ACTUALLY BE THE SAME PART

The non-genuine part is often exactly the same part. Many aftermarket manufacturers supply OE components to carmakers. With these, the only difference is the box it comes in, and of course the price. The part itself is often identical.

6. NOT INTELLIGENCE-INSULTING

If you think any carmaker deserves to be rewarded in any way for inflicting that intelligence-insulting bullshit upon us … please don’t breed or vote. There’s some profound final inducement to shop for a quality part elsewhere. This ‘Beware of Strangers’ BS is an epic marketing ‘own goal’ I’d suggest, at least among consumers whose IQ is above the room temperature in degrees C.

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CONCLUSION

To Nissan Australia (and the FCAI generally) I’d say: The brain damage you apparently suffered in the GFC was sadly worse than we had all expected. More intensive therapy is needed. Obviously. Still, as charitable as I can be on this, I really can’t wait for a new and possibly even more exciting aftersales marketing campaign from you.

I’ll count the sleeps until then. But don’t tease me - you know I want this. Quality aftermarket parts rock. They are neither dodgy nor criminal. I hope this helps. 

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