Counterfeit Oil Filters Are Putting Engines At Risk

Studies conducted in Japan and Korea have revealed that counterfeit oil filters for sale online can cause serious detrimental effects to an engine.

The expert analyses concluded that the rip-off oil filters feature several design and engineering flaws, including faulty bypass valves which remain permanently open, stopping engine oil filtration. Obviously, a bypass valve should only be required if a filter becomes blocked or clogged.

This issue can expose crucial engine parts to damage and failure, and it could hit your hip pocket… hard. As a Toyota Australia spokesperson explained: “Unfiltered oil containing dirt, metal and other particulates eats away at vital engine components causing severe engine damage. This would leave vehicle owners with a hefty repair bill for a complete engine rebuild.”


As well as poor filtration, the bench testing, conducted by Toyota genuine automotive component manufacturer Denso and Hyundai equivalent Mobis, found that the counterfeit filters also demonstrated reduced service life.

Mark Skaife, a Genuine is Best ambassador, emphasised the magnitude of the issue: “If you have bought one of these filters online thinking it is legitimate, then think again because those few dollars that you think you saved could end up costing you thousands.

“Unfortunately we don’t know exactly how many of these fake filters with their dodgy materials have reached our streets. This seizure is just from one retailer, and involves over 500 filters.”

For the test, experts seized more than 500 counterfeit filters branded as Toyota, Lexus and Mobis (Hyundai and Kia), with all of the sales records collected. Affected customers are expected to hear from their respective car companies with information on the effects of the dodgy filters.


The bogus product is wrapped with labelling which looks almost indistinguishable from genuine products, so customers are often unaware they are purchasing a counterfeit product.

“From the outside, the counterfeits are difficult to tell apart from the originals, even for our trained technicians,” a Toyota Australia spokesperson said.

To curve this immeasurable problem, customers are urged to remain vigilant and take an active role to ensure they fit only genuine parts to their vehicle.


“This component test was conducted by two separate labs in two separate countries and both reached the same conclusions,” FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said.

“Counterfeiters are only in this for the quick buck; they can’t hope to replicate the thousands of hours of research, development and engineering that stand behind genuine parts, even with something as small as an oil filter.

“For the sake of a small short-term saving, these poor quality copies don’t even operate as a filter and risk many thousands of dollars in repair costs. It is essential that you check that your mechanic and repairer uses genuine replacement parts sourced from the authorised dealer network. It’s as simple as asking the question.”

Article from 4×4 Australia

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Comments 6

  1. There are many articles like this one warning against buying non genuine service parts which are of no use to any one. It would be good if you were to publish a list of suppliers that sell after market products that meet manufacturers specifications. Most on line suppliers are usually 70% cheaper than going to a shop or dealer but there is no guide to which makes of filters and suppliers are supplying good quality after market products. I usually buy Wesfil filters directly from Wesfil in Sydney and expect to get an original Wesfil filter made to the manufacturers specs. What are the other good options?

    1. By genuine filters from manufacture Nissan Toyota etc you pay a little bit more ,but what price a new engine
      I have a GQ Nisan Patrol 1993 .got it 1996, 60,000 on the clock now 600,000 plus only use genuine oil filters

  2. What?
    Are you suggesting that oil filters, air filters etc. produced by after market manufacturers such as Ryco, AC Delco etc are inferior to those supplied via a vehicle manufacturer?
    Such an assertion is absurd. I have fist hand knowledge of a case where engine bearing failure was attributed to a non-works oil filter & costs for repair to be borne by the owner reversed when it was proven that the used non-works oil filter performed better than the new APPROVED filter fitted at the time of repair.
    The $’s paid were refunded.

  3. after buying a standard 100 series landcruiser, i done a oil change using genuine oil filter had the car booked in at a safari turbo diesel place in fremantal w.a , i told them i had change oil and filter, after they done the job i drove the car back after 3 days the next morning i started the engine and notice knocking till the oil pick up, after investigating the oil filter not the same, took it back to fremantle well gess what same old story we will look into, they never got back to me after spending $5,000 for the drive in drive out turbo conversion. ps the oil was draining back to the sump

  4. First, purchase a genuine filter from the maker of your vehicle.
    Then, weight it accurately. I have found that non genuine filters are usually lighter as they have less filtering material in them.
    This can be done for both oil and fuel filters.
    Note: this is not a fool proof method but it has worked for me in the past.

  5. An open letter to all Auto Technicians, Mechanics and Apprentices.

    I forward this as a public service and a warning.

    WARNING: We have all been betrayed, deceived and mislead by Repco Auto Parts (GPC)

    Repco have been knowingly selling defective oil filters for 4 + years. If you have installed one of these your customer has the right to sue you for $22,000, being the estimated cost to repair the consequential engine damage caused by using one of GPC/Repco’s defective engine oil filters, one that has been professionally tested and found to be unfit for the purpose. In the opinion of many GPC/Repco’s unethical, irresponsible, deceitful behaviour has disgraced our industry, abused our trust and set us up to be sued for damages.

    Did they think all mechanics were too busy to notice and too afraid to react? WRONG!
    I am here to help you from being sued for engine damage as a result of Repco’s deception and breach of trust. I am not afraid to react – but as an individual I can only do so much. If you are not afraid and care enough, you will join me to help make them accountable.

    I am asking you to please pass this on to all in our sector who have a respectful committed responsibility to their customers and the future of our Auto Service and Repair Industry.


    I write to you as a colleague and a friend in the Auto Industry.
    My name is Barry Kramer, I am an Automotive Mechanical Engineer and a member of the Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers with over 40 years’ trade experience.

    I would like to draw your attention to the deceptive conduct of Genuine Parts Company i.e. GPC Asia Pacific, the owners of REPCO, a well-known brand here in Australia and New Zealand. GPC also own Covs WA and NAPA in the USA where they have recently been found guilty of knowingly selling products that contained asbestos. The fine for that was $81m. Yes, 81 million. Proof, they can no longer be trusted.
    My investigation here in Australia has uncovered even more of their dodgy replacement parts.
    Below are some links to that 81million dollar lawsuit and a link to a product review site to help you understand what I consider to be a flood of defective parts being sold to members of our important essential industry.

    The reason I’m writing to you today is to bring your attention to the Australia Consumer Law (ACL).
    Should there be a mechanical failure caused by you unwittingly installing a defective oil filter, you are 100% exposed to a consumer lawsuit. As the installer you would then have to sue GPC Repco as the supplier. Do you have the time and resources? I don’t!

    I have been gathering information to allow you to make an informed decision to join me in this fight and have your name and/or your business name remembered as a change-maker, not a bystander. My 4 years of research will soon be displayed on the World Wide Web. Join others and help expose those who believe they have the power, the means and the influence to pass blame and any subsequent pending law suits onto mechanics. Please note: REPCO/GPC made NO attempt to notify our industry or recall these defective oil filters. They continue to ignore all requests to take responsibility, even putting a ‘Profanity’ block on emails.

    The full story is being told on ( ) Chapters 1 and 2 have been uploaded under the heading: The “Just-us” Court of Public Opinion: Trial number 0001/2019.
    Running a business is hard enough these days. This large company is treating us with contempt and getting rich beyond imagination while we take all the risk. (Repco – All the profit but none of the consequences.)

    Follow these links to help get a better understanding.

    I hope you choose to join me and bring some justice to our industry or at least boycott Repco products in protest of GPC/Repco’s irresponsible, care-less attitude and deceptive practices. Repco have screwed us and our industry.
    Here is a link/list to some alternative brands.
    • 10 Best Oil Filters – Reviews

    To date tests have revealed the following manufacturers can’t be trusted. Check their reviews on the internet.
    RYCO – One small example – 5 defective filters.

    Email me to register your support as a potential CHANGE-MAKER at
    Follow the evidence trail as it unfolds on Video evidence will be included.
    We do respect the fact that you may choose to go it alone or may even be programmed to ignore this request.
    This is something very different, but as mechanics we have been put in charge of looking after one of our customer’s biggest investments. I guess this is where we can test our industries care-factor.

    If you accept GPC/REPCO’s misleading and deceptive conduct all you need do is ignore this request for help and continue using their shonky products. Please be aware, this information is also meant to go public.
    I now pass this over to you!

    Thank you in anticipation of you choosing to join me. By responding you will also be giving me your permission to continue this process until justice is achieved and the blame is handed back to Repco’s deceitful hierarchy.

    Barry Kramer. MIAME/MESSENGER.

    I already have:
    The evidence, gathered over 4 years.
    10 defective samples. (all with a manufacturers date stamp).
    The purchase dockets from Aus. & NZ.
    The 160 pages of documentation.
    The correspondence dating back to 2014.
    The only thing missing is your support. They have attacked your livelihood.
    Here is a chance to make it know that as consumers we will not be set-up nor taken for granted.

    To join me all you need do is to send this email back to me by simply pressing your email
    “Reply” tab with or without a comment. Add a comment if you want to help even more.

    INTEGRITY: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

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