‘Bargain Batteries May Invalidate Warranties’ – Motaquip
Aftermarket parts supplier Motaquip has warned that the flood of ‘bargain batteries’ into the EU from Asian manufacturers pose a direct threat to a vehicle’s starting capability and could invalidate manufacturer vehicle warranties.
Motaquip accepts that many manufacturers have improved their product quality in the past few years, but there are still many low tech battery imports that fail to meet manufacturer OE specifications, potentially compromising on safety and performance criteria. The issue is that today’s vehicles are fitted with such a multitude of extra electrical items that batteries require a much greater reserve capacity to run both the electrical items and have sufficient spare capacity for the cold-cranking amp which actually starts the car.
These batteries are often characterised by being low in lead, which directly impacts upon battery life, resulting in the malfunctioning of electrical items or the failure of the car to start. In fact, says Motaquip, the situation has become so serious that many vehicle manufacturers now insist that if a vehicle’s warranty is to remain valid, like-for-like OE battery replacements must be fitted.
Asian battery imports now dominate the UK aftermarket, accounting for over 50 per cent of imports into the EU. In 2004, imports from China rose by 38 per cent, making it the major importer of batteries into the EU.
Owen Henderson-Hamilton, Motaquip Product Planner, said: “Quality and specification is of critical importance and today’s vehicles require a replacement battery that is fully compliant with OE specifications. Crucially, the modern battery is an integrated component within a sophisticated electrical system. Low tech, low cost batteries often do not meet these criteria and should only be fitted to older vehicles with less sophisticated electrical systems.”