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RE: Parts Fraud?
This is actually very common her in the USA.
There is even a whole sale parts company that was started by a group of
VW/Audi Dealers in order to provide a way for the dealers to get German
parts without paying the cost of factory parts. In many cases though they
are buying from the same manufactures as the factory buys from but they buy
direct and resell them to the dealers at deep discounts. I have installed
thousands of "Aftermarket" parts that came in VW/Audi factory parts boxes
and were indeed OE parts sold through a wholesaler and not the
I remember the first time this became clear to me, I was fairly new at the
dealership and I was working on a Porsche 928 that needed brake pads and
rotors all the way around. The cost of the "Factory" parts was a bit much
for the owner of the car and he asked if we could get "Aftermarket" parts
and save him some money. The parts manager told the service writer that he
could get "Aftermarket" rotors but he could not warrantee them. I installed
the "Aftermarket" parts and the customer when off happy and safe. The thing
about this was that when I originally got prices on the "Factory" parts the
parts counterman set out pads and rotors and this were the exact same parts
we used when we sold the customer "Aftermarket" parts instead of "Factory"
parts. I asked a few questions and found out about the aftermarket wholesale
company the dealers had set up. Basically the factory can not control what
the dealer sells but can require proof of Originality for warranty purposes
so the dealer will buy parts from the factory but not nearly as many as they
sell. There was a time when I could tell which wholesaler the parts came
from by the parts tag that was on them but not being in the shop regularly I
would only be guessing now.
No dealership or parts supplier should claim a part is a "Factory" part if
it is indeed an "Aftermarket" part but an "Aftermarket" part can be an "OEM"
Some dealers will tell you that the parts are "Aftermarket" or "Factory"
parts and adjust the prices accordingly.
Not all dealerships and parts suppliers are the same and I don't mean to
bash them all, note I mention no names here so far.
I will say that based on my 8 or so years of dealing with Linda at Carlsen
Porsche Audi she would not sell you an aftermarket part without making you
aware of it first and Linda would not sell you a junk aftermarket part that
required re-machining at all. If Linda sells aftermarket parts they will up
to or beyond OE quality. Of course Linda and Carlsen Porsche Audi are not
the norm for Porsche Audi Dealerships at least based on my 19 years of
Technical Editor II
(916) 684-5200 Ext. 3346
Fax: (916) 684-5225
From: Bob [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, January 18, 1999 8:31 AM
Subject: Parts Fraud?
I went to the DEALER to get a rear diff bushing to replace on my
Quattro. When I got the part it looked real crappy, the rubber part
it was molded poorly, the metal part wasnt cast well etc. Not only
it didnt have an audi part number or 4 rings on it.
When I went to install it, I took the old one out, it was well made,
the audi part number etc. I measured the OD of each and the new one
1/32" LARGER than the old. No way in hell its going to fit.
Down to my lathe, take off 1/32", and discover the damn thing isnt
round. Its oval, and its smallest dimension was still 1/32" larger
the old one.
So I eventually round it up, cut a bit off to make it fit, and
I talk to the parts guy at the counter I get it from, he says "Oh
theres no audi part number on it because our boss found a german
supplier (aftermarket) thats cheaper than audi.
So my problem is that I spent a couple hours fixing a crappy part
top of it, they are charging me Audi prices for non audi parts!!!???
I could have saved big $$ going aftermarket myself.
Ideas? Has anyone heard of this?