Fake aircon units discovered on building sites in the region

Contractors have been warned against using counterfeit air-conditioning units which have started to circulate in the Middle East.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  August 20, 2005

Contractors have been warned against using counterfeit air-conditioning units which have started to circulate in the Middle East. Korean-based manufacturer LG Electronics has said it will ‘track down’ importers, distributors and suppliers of fake aircon units bearing the company’s logo. “Counterfeiting and product fraud affects our entire industry and we are concerned about the danger this poses to our consumers. As the producer of the world’s best selling air conditioners, I believe LG has a responsibility to lead the fight against product fraud and pursue appropriate legal measures to prevent counterfeit air conditioners from coming to the market,” said K H Kim, president, LG Electronics Middle East and Africa Operations. The fake units have started to appear in several markets in the region, including Iraq and the UAE, and now the company is calling for a ban on imports of counterfeit products. Company officials are training distributors to differentiate authentic from counterfeit products and warning them of the legal complications that they may face for illegally trading in counterfeit goods. The counterfeit LG air conditioners being distributed illegally in the Middle East feature a crudely manufactured sticker of the LG logo on its packaging. Many of the counterfeit products also bear stickers listing two different countries of origin (both Korea and China) and differing ranges of operational capacity. Fakes can easily be identified by closer inspection of the packaging and the logo on the units. According to a company spokesperson, most of the fake units in circulation do not have the LCD temperature displays which feature on the LG units. The cooling sector market in the GCC is estimated to be worth approximately US $1.2 billion a year and LG has beome a major player in the sector, accounting for 20% of the global market according to Japanese market research consultancy Fuji-Keizai.

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