By on October 6, 2016

Fidanza Ford Mustang

They say impersonation is the greatest form of flattery, but that flattery has some serious financial consequences in the world of aftermarket parts.

Ohio-based Fidanza Performance, a supplier of aftermarket clutches, flywheels, and other parts, is the latest victim of Chinese knockoff artists selling “Fidanza-like” products on eBay and through unauthorized retailers.

Needless to say, Fidanza president Jeff Jenkins isn’t thrilled by the mimicry.

In a newsletter to customers, Fidanza Performance stated it “recently discovered several unauthorized parties offering Fidanza products. Fidanza is working with attorneys in the United States and abroad to address these unauthorized sales so that our customers can continue to rely on the quality and craftsmanship that you expect from a Fidanza product.”

According to Mr. Jenkins, the company is aware of “two Chinese companies in particular … selling lightweight aluminum flywheels” for numerous vehicles using the Fidanza name.

However, this is not an issue that solely affects Fidanza and its customers, but the aftermarket as a whole.

“We want to alert the consumer about what they buy and where they buy it from. Other manufacturers are victims of this as well, but the true victim is the consumer,” said Jenkins.

“This is an issue that’s important to us. You work hard to establish a name and reputation in the industry. [The counterfeiters have] done this for years. It’s something all manufacturers have to deal with. It’s when they start using your name that it becomes personal.”

Jenkins said that Fidanza does have official retailers, which you can find on its website.

If you’ve purchased a Fidanza product and would like to verify its authenticity, you can contact the supplier directly by email.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

52 Comments on “Fidanza Latest Supplier Warning Consumers of Chinese Counterfeit Parts...”


  • avatar
    threeer

    Good luck with that. If they are marketed as being noticeably cheaper, folks will buy. And if the company attempts to go after Chinese manufacturers, it will come to naught. Tech and trademark rip-off is a gold-medal sport in China…

  • avatar
    MatadorX

    I feel really badly for Fidanza, They not only supply consistently high quality parts, but cover such a wide range of applications that even includes relatively orphaned power-plants. Mazda JE-V6 anyone? Plus they are a good example that if you charge $300-400 for a flywheel, you CAN make it in USA! Many manufacturers in the aftermarket today charge high prices yet manufacture overseas. This makes little to no sense to me, when they have competitors able to make a profit keeping our citizens employed, and making the highest quality of product. I the consumer am going to go for the domestically made good, especially if the price is the same. One reason I will continue to support Edelbrock, 100% USA to this day….

    ….Waiting on all the commenters here who make it their life goal to crucify anyone bashing the quality of Chinese made cars/parts/etc.

    My guess is none of said commenters have EVER turned a wrench, much less done so as a career, where comebacks can mean the difference between putting food on the table and not being able to do so.

    I basically use almost exclusively OEM parts lately, with occasional deviations to brands with known supply channels that are made in 1st world countries. Wanna call me racist? Fine. But temper your responses until you have installed Chinese aftermarket parts and seen every. single. one. fail within the year. This isn’t a racial issue, this is a QUALITY issue. No, I don’t have some study completed by still more people who have never turned a wrench. I have personal experience. Chinese aftermarket made parts 9/10 times don’t fit correctly, and 10/10 do not last even a fraction as long as those manufactured elsewhere. I no longer even install Chinese rotors at my shop. They frequently warp quickly, and do not fit the hub in the correct manner. This is challenging because other brands are tough to find. However, OEM units are only 35% more that aftermarket, and comebacks drop to zero.

    The main issue is aftermarket brands that have been around a long time, used to manufacture most of their parts in a factory they actually owned, or rebox items made by a competitor that actually owned the plant. Chinese parts don’t flow through these channels. Very few aftermarket manufacturers actually control, own, or even know where the plant that manufacturers the part is located within China. Thus the brand on the box is 100% meaningless, these were bulk shipped to many suppliers from a plant that has zero ties, or reason to promote quality to the end retailer or consumer.

    Many automakers now make OEM parts in China, and because these are OEM grade facilities, tied to a real company that will REALLY GET SUED if the parts are found defective, these parts tend to be just fine.

    You want to preach not judging items by their country of origin? In many cases, that may be true, but become a mechanic that deals with the consequences of Chinese parts in the automotive aftermarket (not OEM), and then tell me all countries should be treated equally when it comes to car parts.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      You might think you’re tying yourself to a lightning rod, but it’s a sunny day without a cloud in the sky.

      I don’t think anyone here advocates for saving money on off-brand carparts for performance applications.

      The nearest thing we have to parity in opinion here on B&B is our preference for country of origin. A lot of dudes like Japanese stuff. Plenty of guys like American/Canadian parts. And others like European.

      I don’t think anyone has a clear preference for Chinese made?

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      There’s a difference between a Chinese made product sold under its own brand (which could be legitimate) and an eBay counterfeit which probably IS junk.

    • 0 avatar
      Bill Wade

      I always thought the same about OEM too until I tuned up our 1995 454 TBI motorhome. Purchased the Delco cap, rotor, wires and plugs.

      Less than 1,000 miles later the engine barely runs. Tried pulling the wires to check the plugs and the boots ALL came apart. The inside of the distributor cap showed major arcing along with the rotor.

      Went back to NAPA and asked them about it. The older gentleman behind the counter told me these parts are even worse than most of the Chinese no name junk and recommended an Echlin cap and rotor with NAPA Gold wires.

      It was instantly obvious the Echlin parts were much more finely built with brass posts versus the aluminum of the Delco. Same with the wires, obviously more robustly built.

      I now realize OEM is no longer the guarantee of quality. Find a good auto parts store that caters to the trade, not retail, and follow their recommendations.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        I always prefer to buy based on supplier rather than blindly buy what the dealer sells. If you buy an NGK plug, you know it’s made by NGK. If you buy the dealer’s plug, today it can be a Bosch, tomorrow NGK, and champion the next. When I worked at the dealer, I was installing new tapered wheel bearings for a customer with an E class. The Mercedes wheel bearing kit was over $250, and consisted of an inner bearing, an outer bearing, and seal with integrated ABS tone wheel. The bearings that came in the box were the cheapest made in India bearings you could buy. Along the lines of the $5 bearings from RockAuto. If the customer bought some time or SKF bearings, he would have been way better off.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          MBella – agreed. Your bearing story is true in many respects. Over the years I’ve changed multiple sets of wheel bearings on dirt bikes. I found that the OEM Japanese and German bearings were quality stuff but overpriced since the dealer was getting their markup. I always got any part that was “universal” from a reputable wholesaler. I could get a quality bearing this way for over 1/2 the cost of one though a dealer.

      • 0 avatar
        Erikstrawn

        “I now realize OEM is no longer the guarantee of quality.” This. I replaced the alternator on my Mustang with a new Bosch alternator. Two months later it was squealing. I replaced it with the lowest-priced alternator I could find and it’s been running like a champ.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      MatadorX – your post wasn’t racist so I don’t see the need to mention it. Must be those SJW’s keeping everyone on edge. LOL

      The point is more a case of quality control. China has very lax copyright infringement laws and tends to be one of the “centres of the universe” for counterfeiting.

      I believe that the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”

    • 0 avatar

      I used ONE Chinese part on my BMW. It was the large shock mount for the front shock tower. Well, all black rubber isn’t alike and the bearing failed at about 25k. (tick-tock over every single bump and gap) Luckily I had access to a friend’s garage and we were able to swap in BMW bits. Never again….

      Still, my Caddy has “made in China” all over it…wires, the cast wheels, and other bits…

      I’ve heard that China will make whatever you want, you just have to do the QC yourself…which for GM is probably normal, and for an unnamed replacement parts company, is whatever shows up in the box.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      No kidding about the fit issues. I helped a friend work on his son-in-law’s late ’90s Honda Civic. It had a no start problem, and it wasn’t getting any spark. I tested the coil with a VOM and found it to be bad. We went to AutoZone, and he bought a Chinese-made ValuCraft coil. When we installed it, it was so big that we practically had to hammer the thing in, and it was tricky to get the screws to go through it. I’d never buy crap like that.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    https://aeon.co/essays/what-chinese-corner-cutting-reveals-about-modernity

  • avatar
    Fred

    Problem is too many people shop on price. Every time I research a product I see it in the comments.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    OEM parts are not always well designed or first quality. Pricing is typically several hundred times the production price. And many OEM parts are poorly warrantied, 90 days to one year.

    Determine the optimum parts choice with your trusted mechanic based on quality, price, warranty and how long it will last under your operating conditions. Who stands behind the part is more important than where it was made. A spiffy box at a higher price is not always an upgrade.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    One time I bought cat-5 cable on ebay. When it arrived it was immediately suspicious. The cable felt as it made of hairs not wires. So I thought, how can I prove that this is crap. I took cat5 specs and it had specific resistance per foot of cable. So, I calculated that this cable can’t be called cat5 because it is not cat5-spec cable. A contacted the seller and they offered full return and keep the cable. But I told them, this is is not what I want. I want return and for them never again sell this. … go Trump. Get tough on China

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “go Trump. Get tough on China”

      Trump shirts are made in Bangladesh, Trump suits in Mexico, Trump Vodka in the Netherlands, Trump crystal barware in Slovenia and his cufflinks and ties in China.
      At least his “Make America Great Again” baseball cap is manufactured in California.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        “Trump shirts are made in Bangladesh”

        Lets stay on context of this article here. Trump’s shirt is made by legit company in Bangladesh. Not made by knock-off company. See, you can’t get around that US has no textile industry no more. Everyone’s shirt is made somewhere else. But we need to get tough on China because China care-less that they host bunch of knock-off manufacturers.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      China just laughs at someone as unprepared, incompetent, and ignorant as Trump.

      Of all the candidates left in the race, the only one who would even understand what you could do to “get tough on China” is Hillary Clinton.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Another problem is when US manufacturers take a product, and move production to China. It doesn’t always translate. For example, we had a Swing-Away can opener in our kitchen (the kind that hangs on a bracket mounted to the side of the cabinet, over the sink. My mom had always used them, and they were well made, in the US.

    After several years, ours wore out, so I went to local hardware store to buy another. The production had moved to China, and the difference in quality showed. It looked almost the same, but not. The painted part wasn’t painted as well or as glossy, and the part that had been gleaming chrome on the US made one was now cadmium plated. As in the Aeon article linked above by HReardon, it was “chadubuo” (close enough).

    After a couple of months’ use, the gear that gripped under the rim was stripping, and the can would pop out of its grip, unless it was firmly pushed against the cutting wheel. I found myself wishing I’d kept the old one, so I could now swap the cutting wheel from the new one, to the old one.

    I did send an email complaint to Swing-Away (headquartered in St. Louis), but never got a reply back.

    • 0 avatar
      lemko

      Damn! I’m going to keep my U.S. made Swing-Away can openers now! I can’t believe even they moved production to China! Some know the cost of everything and the value of nothing!

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    This article is very near and dear to me, my brother, and I think every single mechanic and DIYer in the country that has to go to great lengths to find decent quality aftermarket (and even OEM) parts these days. It makes me really sad when a brand like Timken that had built a reputation for high quality, made in USA wheel bearings shuts down US factories. And the folks that have always paid a little extra for Timken product open up the box and see “Made in China” stamped on the part. These things just don’t last. Especially sad for me because my fiance’s grandfather and uncles all worked for Timken at one point in Canton Ohio (one still does). This is repeated again and again with different brands that have in the past been held up as the industry standard for quality, and for making their stuff here in the US.

    The latest victim is actually Japanese Gates, makers of belts, tensioners and belt pullies. My brother has always bought Gates kits because the extra you paid for them got you all made in Japan components. Last time he did a Subie t-belt job, he noticed that even though the kit was listed as being all-Japanese, all of pullies were made in China (belt and tensioner still Japanese). He made an angry call to both Rockauto and Gates US reps to sort things out, they gave some sort of BS walkaround answer “well the kits are packaged in Japan” or some other nonsense. He’s switched to Aisin t-belt kits now, although who knows when they too might fall victim to outsourcing.

    It is not an overstatement in the least that just this daily interaction with junk Chinese parts is enough to motivate the folks in my brother’s circle of mechanics in NY/PA to vote Trump. Whether or not anything can/will actually change is an entirely different manner, but his slagging of outsourcing to China resonates with this group of folks that see the consequences every day.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Whether or not anything can/will actually change is an entirely different manner, ”

      it won’t, because he can’t do what he’s promising. his entire campaign is “bread and circuses,” and I’m saddened he’s hooked so many people.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “and I’m saddened he’s hooked so many people.”

        The fact that someone is at least talking about it is a breath of fresh air for many very frustrated people I think. Versus the status quo of even more outsourcing, TPP, “business as usual” as it were. I agree in that it will take a whole lot more than talk and bluster to actually change anything.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      I’d rather have a root canal than to ever again work on a car but this concerns me as well.

      Why wouldn’t the chinazation of the parts industry equally affect OEM service departments? There would seem to be no escaping the corrosive effects of Chinese corner-cutting and gleeful fraud so long as they offer lowball cost.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        you *can* get quality stuff out of Chinese manufacturers, but you have to watch them like hawks and they aren’t really much cheaper. I can’t speak for all manufacturers, but for the most part the OE replacement service part is the same part that goes into the assembly plants.

        that doesn’t mean the OE parts didn’t have some particular design flaw, but the chances of you getting a “cut rate knock-off” are pretty low.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          That’s an unfortunate added burden and cost to the OEMs but I hope they can continue to police that because there is no bottom to Chinese inventive duplicity.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I doubt it is being policed.

            What was Pesci’s line from Casino? Oh: “They were 1,500 miles away – and I don’t know anyone who can see that far”.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Yabbut we’ve had engineers and others here on TTAC talking specifically about riding herd on the Chinese end of things.

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            Why build in China when you can have US engineers fly down to Mexico, ensure quality and get the part for about the same cost after logistics costs?

            I put together a bid for a part with 3 manufacturing locations: Aguascalientes, SC, and China. Mexico was surprisingly close to China. SC (even at $10-12/hr) didn’t even have a chance.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Now that’s interesting, esp with Mexico having unions and all.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            Chances are they have operations in China anyway, and base their STA/SQA departments there.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          Jimz is correct. if the OE service part is no longer in production and was produced after the model stopped production, it could be produced by another supplier, with the same tooling. If it’s old enough, the original tooling may not be sufficient to the current plant’s standards or be out of service due to condition. If the latter is true, you usually get a hand build part, but dimensionally correct.

          I’ve used this anecdote before – but there are some classic mustangs driving around with power steering lines that I hand built to supply OE service parts. Their routing is probably more to spec than the original production run and they all definitely have better material properties.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Apple iPhone case-in-point. It does what it’s supposed to do.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Kenmore I’ve resorted to buying used older/refurbished things as a budget-friendly way to get quality things. When I bought my first house this spring I hunted down a lightly used Snapper mower (made in USA Briggs & Stratton engine, not sure about the deck), I bought a ~10 year old used Maytag washer and dryer set from the local used appliance store (made in Iowa). My brother is the same way, his refurbished 1980s era Homelite chainsaw (made in North Carolina) is a tank, and cuts great with a fresh made in Oregon chain. My mom uses a 1930s Singer sewing machine that runs great and she refuses to part with. We actually picked that Singer up from the curb when we first immigrated in 1992 and it just so happened to be ‘large trash day.’ To ‘fresh off the boat’ immigrants, it was astounding to see so many nice things thrown out. In addition to the sewing machine we picked up a microwave with a cut cord that we resoldered and proceeded to experiment with and learn the ways of microwaving. We also picked up a black and white TV that we used for a few years before breaking down and splurging on a 22 inch Magnavox that my folks had for close to 15 years.

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          Yep, I was a refurbishta as well and would never walk past a junkyard or garage sale without a thorough inspection for possible goodies.

          The way materials were lavished on olden things and their robust build quality gave me a high that drove a lot of fanatic restoration of their original beauty & functionality.

          But then I got old & tired. So gather your gems while ye may and have the energy to restore them.

          • 0 avatar
            lemko

            Back in the day, things were engineered with the worst case scenario in mind and parts manufactured robust enough to withstand it. Now things are made just good enough to last through the warranty period, if one is lucky.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          @gtemnykh

          I am nodding my head in approval as I read.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          gtemnykh,
          If your Snapper is a Hi-Vac, the deck was likely cast in McDonough, GA. That location closed in 2014 and wasn’t making decks (I don’t think) when it closed.

          I did the same thing with my mower and will likely keep rebuilding it until I’m dead. Great minds think alike.

          If the damned aluminum decks didn’t crack, I’d be all over them. I should just bite the bullet and weld it back together.

    • 0 avatar
      Sceptic

      Gates is an American company with global manufacturing. Last time I replaced the serpentine belt on my Mercedes I got Gates part “Made in USA”, the original factory belt that cam off the car was marked “Mercedes-Benz” and “Gates” in smaller print, “Made in Spain”. It’s all global. I’ve seen excellent Chinese made parts at incredible prices and seen some “Made in Germany” junk too…

      In this politically correct world just saying “America first” is racist… Vote Trump just to piss off the stuffy pc robots with fake smiles glued to their faces lol

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Sceptic right you are, I guess had it in my head that they were Japanese since they are the OE supplier for a lot of japanese cam-belt drive systems and a lot of the kits were sourced from localized Japanese production. And I thought that Gates was one of those randomly chosen “English sounding” names like Bridgestone :)

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      gtemnykh,
      Timken hasn’t shuttered a non-union plant in the US for ages. They are still the real deal. ALso, if they have a plant in China, I’d bet my salary that their manufacturing standards are just as ‘in spec’ as their US plants. My little bro worked there for a long while and I was a part of a supplier re-sourcing as Koyo bearings suck 4ss.

      Timken is just known for union busting. I don’t blame them.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        tres I know their industrial tapered roller bearing applications might still be US made, but I can’t think of a single automotive application that is still made here in the States. My understanding is that they had bought up a bunch of bearing plants in the South back in the day, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what got shuttered/transplanted overseas.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          Unless their NC and SC shops got shuttered in the last year while I wasn’t paying attention, their domestic OEM (truck) production is still all US made.

          Check out their locations, especially their US plant to Chinese plant ratio. http://www.timken.com/en-us/about/Pages/Locations.aspx

          They offloaded their needle bearing plant to Jtekt.

          It doesn’t take much labor to make a good roller bearing assembly. I could see materials being a cost driver. I could be completely wrong.

          I know in 2013 we had to resource to Timken because we had warranty spikes with Koyo. That was after we ended a supplier contract with Timken. When we crawled back to them, we were paying double for alerted in product.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Thanks for the insider knowledge tres, I never cease to be amazed at the depth and breadth of collective knowledge hiding in the comments of TTAC articles from industry folks. That’s one of the big differences between here and Jalopnik IMO, that and their juvenile writing styles.

            It is really encouraging to see how many plants Timken has strewn across the US! But still sad that much of the aftermarket-light-duty automotive stuff SEEMS to be Chinese or Korean. My brother got burned on an Iljen-sourced Timken axle bearing on his old ’89 MPV (failed within 10k miles). He actually ended up installing a Chinese-made bearing (the only other thing available for that application at the time) and it’s held up.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            before I worked here, our department re-sourced an electronic module from a long-time supplier to some Chinese company. after going through all sorts of hell to get it to pass DV/PV and into production, a short time later the supplier just… disappeared. The local office was empty and STA/SQA went to the plant and found it uninhabited. and that module was used by almost every program.

            shutting down one plant is bad enough. shutting down all of them is catastrophic.

    • 0 avatar
      TR4

      @gtemnykh,

      Is your brother “motoYam82” on YouTube? He made a video about Gates switching to Chinese parts on a Subie timing belt kit.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I picked up a set of Brembo pads on “wholesaler closeout” for $13 from RockAuto recently. I hope they’re real! They look alright.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • retrocrank: A couple of decades ago I asked my farmer friends (a.k.a. ag producers) why their huge tractors were...
  • The Comedian: Would it pass GM’s own toolbox test? https://youtu.be/GrahNMrlOIY
  • ToolGuy: Latest Proposal to OEM’s Which Will Not Be Adopted… “Road Warrior Edition” or model...
  • ToolGuy: Corey, I don’t think Mopar was necessarily referring to the input side of the equation.
  • ToolGuy: I think the idea is that many EV fans have or are perceived to have a religious fervor for electricity and a...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States