A car part supplier is alleged to have sold non-genuine parts as genuine to vehicle repairers, prompting an investigation by insurers.
Tim Grafton chief executive of the Insurance Council of New Zealand, which represents New Zealand insurers, said its members had recently been made aware of the issue.
“We understand that since late last year a supplier has provided car parts as car-manufacturer-branded when they are not. The matter is naturally of concern to insurers who have established dedicated teams to investigate the situation.”
Grafton said insurers were working to find out if any of their customers’ vehicles had been fitted with parts from the identified supplier and whether any misrepresentation had occurred.
“Affected customers will be proactively contacted by their insurer if there is anything that needs to be addressed. We understand many customers have been contacted already, and we expect more may be contacted as the investigation continues in the coming weeks.”
Grafton said the insurance sector was working with affected repairers nationwide to rectify the problem for their customers.
“If you are contacted, your insurer will provide you with clear instructions on what you need to do to have your vehicle assessed and if subsequent actions or repairs are needed.
He said the use of non-branded parts that meet recognised standards to carry out vehicle repairs was not unusual and wouldn’t in and of itself present any quality concerns.
Grafton said the Insurance Council had reported the issue to the Commerce Commission and other Government agencies to address the issue.
A spokesman for the Commerce Commission said it had received information about the matter and it was currently being assessed.
“Once we have completed the assessment we will make a decision on whether to launch an investigation.”