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Counterfeiting report: economic and safety concerns raised

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According to a recent report by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) lost tyre sales due to counterfeiting in the UK is estimated at £146 million and lost battery sales at around £9 million.

Executive Director of the EUIPO, António Campinos, comments: “We hope that the findings of this report, which looks at two important economic sectors in the EU, will help policymakers as they study ways of combating counterfeiting. Furthermore, as fake tyres and batteries can have significant safety and environmental consequences, we also hope it will help consumers to choose wisely when purchasing these vital items.”

A study on accident conditions related to tyre usage demonstrated that having a tread depth of 1.6 mm or more

reduces grip accident probability on wet or snowy roads by 84% and tyre blowout failure accident probability is reduced by 86%, compared with tyres with less than 1.6 mm tread depth. Tests carried out by the industry showed fake tyres with 1.4mm tread depth and regrooved tyres (doctored to look new despite being older tyres with little or none of the original tread left) result in clear safety risks for users.

Manufacturers of car batteries follow strict specifications to meet performance and safety specifications. Products are designed to prevent electrolyte leakage, potentially harmful to circuitry
but also to body tissue. In addition, a single-use vent designed into the seal of the battery releases internal pressure within the battery during conditions of abuse to prevent an explosion. These safety features are sometimes absent from counterfeit batteries, putting the user at risk.

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