Mercedes-Benz Australia is getting the word out that consumers need to make sure they get the real deal when purchasing auto parts. To demonstrate that concept in dramatic fashion, the company bangs an imitation and genuine wheel through a pothole at Holden's proving ground to see what happens. The results speak for themselves.

While counterfeiting is often associated fashionable goods like handbags or sunglasses, it wreaks havoc on the auto industry, too. A 2007 study estimated Ford lost $1 billion a year from fake parts, and Aston Martin had to recall a huge swath of vehicles because a sub-supplier used knock-off plastic. To fight the problem here, the US government and some states have passed laws to ban counterfeit components.

In this case, Mercedes uses the stunt to argue the fake parts are a safety issue Down Under. While the two wheels look practically identical at first, they definitely don't perform the same. The slow-mo footage of the impact clearly shows just how differently the pair takes the punishment, and why counterfeit wheels are such a safety issue.

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