I receive almost every day emails from Chinese merchants who want to offer their car parts, especially airflow meters.
Though they have no problem to use Bosch numbers as if they were in a cooperation with Bosch and some manufacturers like RIYI, use packaging designs that are astonishingly similar to the original Bosch one, I haven’t actually seen any Bosch air mass meter fakes.
Until now… I’ll quote the interesting part of an email I received today from a certain “Shao from China”:
[…]without housing packing with bosch(copy bosch)(You also can choose non-bosch packing or any packing you want) for Benz audi bmw vw opel volvo landrover and most for european and japanese car also have for some korea and USA car.
Shao uses the term “copy bosch” to describe what we would call a fake that is intended to scam clueless customers. Next to a price list Shao also attached a photo of that “copy bosch”:
Yep, that’s as fake as it can get.
Don’t forget, I didn’t contact this guy asking for fakes. This was his first email introducing himself.
I don’t have to order a sample to be sure that the quality is just as “good” (also known as “piece of crap”) as that of the hundreds offered on eBay&Co.
After all, I have to say that this didn’t really surprise me as I heard about it before.
How can you protect yourself from fakes?
Recently Bosch and VDO Siemens have taken an approach at making it easier to verify units in question. They started adding holographic seals to their boxes.
Additionally, Bosch nor VDO sell the sensor itself without the housing (like in the picture) – at least in Europe. I was told that this is handled differently in the States.
Common sense and healthy mistrust also help.
Those are a few questions you should ask yourself before you purchase an airmassmeter:
- Is the product “too” cheap (extreme difference to others)?
- Does the seller seem legitimate and professional?
- How long has he been on the market for?
In the end, if you want to know for sure, you can always go to the next Bosch Service to confirm the authenticity of a purchased airflow meter.