Suzuki safety concerns over non-genuine parts
Not only are genuine parts made to fit Suzukis, but they also have to come from the right factory or there could be safety issues, says Phil Cornforth, Suzuki’s general manager of parts and accessories.
“There is some concern that there is no check on parallel imports of genuine or pattern parts that are sourced from other countries/markets where the same vehicle is made, but vehicle compliance and occupant safety standards/regulations are not the same as those applied to vehicles in NZ,” he said.
“These parts are being used in repair of vehicles, sometimes even while the vehicle is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, where these do not meet the original specification of the vehicle, potentially compromising the vehicle strength and/or impact absorption characteristics, and affecting the vehicle crash integrity and both occupant and pedestrian safety.
“It is also possible these parallel imported items will not offer the same service life as the genuine parts specced for the NZ market, as some markets do not have the same vehicle life expectancy as NZ.
“For example, parts sourced from some markets can lack the same corrosion protection or are not able to withstand NZ’s UV levels for the same length of time.”
Phil said Suzuki New Zealand genuine parts ensure quality assurance from a high level of engineering and testing, as well as correct fit and correct specification for the model.
“Genuine parts supplied through the manufacturer are correct fit and meet homologation for New Zealand vehicles. Vehicle models can be made in several different countries and to several specifications, so even genuine parts from the wrong source can be incorrect for NZ specification.
“For instance, some aftermarket companies import ‘Genuine’ SGP (Suzuki Genuine Parts) marked parts from India for Swift models made there, but the panels are not high tensile.
“The Indian-built Swift is not a five-star car, and the panel parts also do not have the same corrosion treatment as NZ models. Using direct manufacturer-supplied parts ensures the vehicle is up to specification and parts will fit correctly, saving time and labour costs.”
Phil said the current Suzuki NZ warranty policy is 12 months and 24,000km. “However anyone who knows Suzuki is aware of the reputation for reliability the product offers, and from our perspective parts warranty is negligible,” he said.
As far as perceptions that genuine parts are too pricy was concerned, Phil noted: “This condition changed quite some time ago. There will always be the situation where customers will get what they pay for when buying nongenuine. However pricing of genuine service items are very competitive.
“As an example one of the most common items that needs replacing on a used import vehicle when it arrives in the country is the aircon filter, where a genuine Suzuki Swift one has a retail of $26 as opposed to $40+ for an aftermarket item.“
He said parts were often improved. “Usually such an item is introduced with release of the latest iteration of a model or when the next generation of a model is introduced, at which time supply is available as a spare part.”
He added that it would take “at the earliest six months, more regularly 12 months plus” before the aftermarket would catch up with that part.
“With 35 dealers located from Whangarei to Invercargill, and key locations in between, same-day service to most regions is possible, and this is backed up with Suzuki New Zealand’s distribution service capable of same-day service to some dealers, and an overnight service with early morning delivery to all the network. SNZ also provides a parts service to the Pacific from New Caledonia to Tahiti.
“Suzuki product has been imported and distributed in NZ since 1962, and parts support has been part of 3S (Sales Service & Spares) since the beginning.“