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Fake oil turns up in Russia

The original Bitzer lubricant label, top, and the counterfeit, above, are difficult to tell apart. Although not necessarily apparent here, the counterfeit label is not the correct Bitzer green and the logo background colour is different

RUSSIA: Counterfeit Bitzer refrigeration oil has been discovered for sale in Russia.

Trade Group, the refrigeration distribution arm of the Moscow-based Thermocool group, has issued a warning to customers after discovering a “small quantity” of the Bitzer-brand lubricant B5.2 on the market. The lubricant, a semi-synthetic oil, is designed for use with Bitzer R22 reciprocating and screw refrigeration compressors.

The packaging and labels of the counterfeit oil is said to be very similar to the authentic product but there are slight differences in the label and logo colour and size of the label. In addition, the counterfeit label has pronounced rounded corners.

Bitzer’s Russian subsidiary Bitzer CIS has warned that it cannot be responsible for the operation of refrigeration compressors with the counterfeit oil, the characteristics of which are unknown.

Bitzer is one of a number of leading brand global refrigeration manufacturers targeted by counterfeiters. In an extension of efforts to beat the pirates, the German compressor manufacturer announced the addition of QR codes to all its compressor products last year.

Although the source of the counterfeit oil is not revealed, product piracy has achieved highly sophisticated and professional results in the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. Most, if not all, the counterfeiting activity centres on China where unscrupulous product counterfeiters go to great lengths to fool the customer, often copying catalogue data and packaging to mislead buyers.

Related stories:

Bitzer declares war on counterfeiters – June 15, 2014
GERMANY: Refrigeration compressor manufacturer Bitzer is to wage war against what it sees as a rising tide of product piracy. Read more…

Bitzer adds QR codes to beat the pirates – Thursday, May 7, 2015
GERMANY: Bitzer has confirmed it is adding QR codes to all its compressors in a bid to beat product piracy. Read more…

Bitzer eyes 14 companies in piracy crackdown – May 31, 2015
GERMANY: In its bid to crack down on counterfeit products, compressor manufacturer Bitzer says it is currently monitoring 14 Chinese companies suspected of producing fakes. Read more…

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