Guest Editorial: Buying Counterfeit Scan Tools Goes Way Beyond Just 'Buyer Beware'

Guest Editorial: Buying Counterfeit Scan Tools Goes Way Beyond Just ‘Buyer Beware’

Our business is serious, and we have a high expectation of quality along with a parallel expectation of support for the tool we will depend on. When the counterfeit tool fails, we lose productivity. When the counterfeit tool turns the ECM to a brick, we lose money.

Counterfeit scan tools scare me.

I know someone who bought a counterfeit Rolex from a street vendor in New York for $13 several years ago and thought it was fun to fool their friends for a few months while the watch actually worked. However, as a responsible adult accepting the American rule-of-law, that person must accept that they were participating in a scam that was unfair to this Swiss company who has an ­international right to protect its good name and trademark.

For some, it seems harmless to buy a counterfeit watch or purse because it comes with a low expectation of quality and it’s easy to just toss it in the trash when it doesn’t hold up.

But I don’t know of any professional technician who is trying to fool their friends with a counterfeit scan tool.

Serious Business Consequences
Our business is serious, and we have a high expectation of quality along with a parallel expectation of support for the tool we will depend on. When the counterfeit tool fails, we lose productivity. When the counterfeit tool turns the ECM to a brick, we lose money. When enough independent technicians buy counterfeits, the OEM begins to lose confidence that the aftermarket will indeed be able to service their car owners.

Let me be clear that counterfeit tools are not to be confused with legitimate ­aftermarket tools, clearly identified as an alternative brand with a real company ready to stand behind their legal production of a competitive product. Counterfeits are items identified by a trademarked name or label that does not belong to the crook who produced it.

Counterfeits and Clones
Another scam with scan tools is the “clone” tools that illegally contain copyrighted software or components for which the crook failed to obtain proper license. Both of these types of counterfeit tools scare me, as it puts our whole industry at risk.

NASTF OEM and independent volunteers are preparing a presentation on counterfeit tools to be given during the Fall 2013 NASTF General Meeting, Nov. 6, during the AAPEX/SEMA trade shows in Las Vegas. The NASTF event will be free to attend and without pre-registration. However, NASTF ­recommends early registration for trade show ­credentials and travel arrangements. For those options, visit www.aapexshow.com

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