OEDA warning on grey imports

Boaties urged to be wary of cheap engines purchased outside of authorised dealer networks

OEDA warning on grey imports
OEDA warning on grey imports

The Outboard Engine Distributors Association (OEDA), a group representing several marine outboard distributors, said it is concerned about the increasing number of engines that are being imported into Australia outside of authorised dealer networks.

"What’s happening is that people are finding great deals, usually via the internet, on engines which are being brought in from overseas," said OEDA’s executive officer, Lindsay Grenfell.

"Deals that look too good to be true usually are," Grenfell said.

OEDA said its primary concern is customer safety. According to the organisation, authorised dealers conduct extensive pre-delivery programs, using specialised diagnostic equipment, to ensure engines are properly prepared and work as they should. They also ensure engines are fitted correctly to boats.

"We don’t want people taking their family to sea with engines which could have come from anywhere and which haven’t been properly checked. There could be any number of serious issues," Grenfell said.

According to OEDA, should a manufacturer ever identify an issue with a particular model or type of engine, owners who are not registered with an authorised dealer could easily miss the recall or update, leaving their engine and themselves at risk.

"The other problem is engines imported on the ‘grey’ market are not covered by a manufacturer’s warranty which means if the engine dies or falls apart there is absolutely no comeback — no repairs, no replacements, nothing," said Grenfell.

"OEDA members build excellent engines, but that quality cannot be guaranteed if you buy an engine from a ‘grey’ importer. It leaves your safety at risk and it leaves you exposed financially."

While grey or parallel imports have been around for some time, according to OEDA it has become more widespread following the economic downturn in the United States. This has led to a significant increase in the amount of distressed stock on the market.

"OEDA is urging anyone who’s looking to buy an engine to ask a lot of questions to make sure they are buying from an authorised dealer who will be doing everything to ensure your safety," added Grenfell.

Visit www.oeda.com.au for more information.

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