Identifying counterfeits

Common ways to identify a counterfeit include; heavily discounted price, dubious advertising, improbably ratings, lack of technical information, different packaging, defects in product or material workmanship, incorrect brand name or logo, different security label, damaged security strip.


Variety of counterfeit packaging. These packages are not MAHLE products.

To fool distributors and consumers, the packaging design or brand name is often copied. These fakes have the same packaging design and part designation, but the brand name has been changed. MAHLE has been changed to “MOHLE” and KNECHT to “KNFCHE”. Particularly in countries with different writing systems, these changes easily go unnoticed.

Air filter

Comparison between a fake and MAHLE air filter. The fake filter has uneven glue on the edge of the filter making it easy to determine it is a counterfeit air filter.

Air filters protect a vehicle and its occupants from harmful substances and allow for an optimal combustion process in the engine. Counterfeit air filters are often glued unevenly and, as a result, the adhesive dissolves even at low temperatures. The reduced filter surface impairs the filter’s performance and shortens its service life.

Oil filter

Comparison of a fake and MAHLE oil filter. The fake oil filter has easily scratchable paint and a non-functional interior that is essential to the functionality of the oil filter.

This illegal copy of OC 257 looks almost identical to the original. But the paint can easily be removed from the filter by scratching with a fingernail. Opening the filter reveals that the counterfeit is not entirely functional—the important second bead that prevents deformation is missing.

Piston rings

Comparison of fake and MAHLE piston ring packaging. The fake packaging has our logo in red and different lettering. Packages can be checked with the MAHLE team at any time to ensure they are originals.

These imitations of our piston rings, which have recently appeared on the market, are particularly easy to identify. The security strip and all other safety features are missing from the label. At best, the packaging resembles an older version of MAHLE’s packaging, but the colouring and lettering differ significantly from our originals. To be on the safe side in such cases, check with our experts, who will be happy to help identify a product. Our original packaging is shown on the right.

Note: Counterfeit piston rings will not only increase oil consumption, but will also decrease engine output.