Fake COO on packaging

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Oct 3, 2008
So I got a new OE blower motor for my Envoy. Here's the country of origin printed right on the box:


Perfect, I got a Made in U.S.A. unit! I pull the motor out the box and what's the country of origin?


GM better have an explanation for this.
Originally Posted By: KD0AXS
The label on the box is made in the USA.

That, and the box itself.

GM's explanation will probably be that the box was old-stock and once it's used up, the new ones will say "Made in China". And probably add some gibberish about the sticker on the motor being the one that "counts."
Did you buy it from a dealer? If not, I wonder if you got ripped off? Basically: is the blower ACTUALLY a Delco part, or a knockoff?
Par for the course. The more I pay attention to the "Made in ..." stickers, the more confusing they get... Confusing or deceptive.

I've seen huge American flags next to "AMERICAN MADE" only to read "designed and packaged in America" and "Assembled in China"

Long story short...unless you live next to the factory that makes the part, it is often times tough to say.
The motor part number could be just that. The "part number" could be for the entire part.
The point there being that the motor could be adaptable to several or even many blowers.

Regarding placing misleading stickers on boxes...."I'm shocked, SHOCKED..." (Insp. Renault in Casablanca)
The difference in COO may be an honest mistake. We deal with this all the time in my department at work. Many of the parts we ship to GM are made in Mexico, at our sister plants. They ship them to our facility, since we are responsible for shipping service parts to the OEMs.

While we ship out hundreds of parts that are made in Mexico, we also ship thousands of parts that are made in the USA, and a small amount that may be made in other countries, such as Canada, Brasil, Thialand, etc.

The label on the box is an easy mistake. A part may have originally been made in Mexico, but then moved to the USA. Or the other way around. It is likely that the label was created by cutting and pasting from another label definition of a very similar part, and COO was just missed.

Managing the box label can be quite a job, particularly on label content. While our company may be shipping hundreds of part numbers to OEM assembly plants, for current models, our facility has thousands upon thousands of part numbers that are now in service. That is, the part is no longer used in production, but it is shipped to the OEM as a service part. Some mistakes are caused by bad systems at GM.

For example, note that on the label shown, the item description is shown in three languages, English, Spanish, and French. For our products, these descriptions have been the same for years. Then, GM hired someone different to do the translations, and he/she used different translations for the same product. That happened on at least two occasions. Now, there are at least three different sets of descriptions for the same product.

GM audits these labels on a regular basis. If a supplier gets a label wrong, GM contacts the supplier for corrective action.

So, as much as I dislike GM, in this case I'd cut them some slack. It is most likely not their mistake, bu the mistake of the supplier. And even the supplier most likely did not intend to "fake you out", but also made an honest mistake. Trust me, we've made our share.
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I'd be more troubled with the fact that the numbers on the box and the numbers on the blower don't match.

Does the blower appear to be the correct part?
Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
I'd be more troubled with the fact that the numbers on the box and the numbers on the blower don't match.

Does the blower appear to be the correct part?

Also not a big deal. The part numbering system used by GM (and almost all other OEMs) assigns one part number for a part that is used in production, and a different part number for the very same part, when it is shipped as a service part.

While this may seem stupid, the different part numbers have a purpose. When we ship a part to the assembly plant, it is shipped in a bulk container. There may be 10 parts in a reusable plastic container, and 16 containers to a pallet. This works great on the production floor.

When we ship the same part for use as a service part, it is shipped to a service parts distribution center. This time the same part is individually boxed, typically in a cardboard box. Also included in the box may be an instruction sheet, and perhaps some fasteners. Since the part is the same as that which is shipped to the assembly plant, it has the same label on the part. But when it is boxed, it is shipped as the service part number.

If GM ordered the same part number for both production and service, then the parts distribution center would receive the same bulk shipment of parts that the assembly plant orders. This would not work at all. The assembly plant orders in multiples of whatever is on an entire pallet. For example, if there are 160 parts on a pallet, they will order in quantities of 160, 320, 480, 640, etc. When the parts distribution center orders, they may order in any quantity, even a single piece if needed.

this can be confusing to the amateur do-it-yourself type. But I am sure the shops are entirely accustomed to seeing this, and think nothing of it.
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I'm a COO nerd, so I've done tons of reading on this.

"Made in the USA" and phrases with the same meaning are pretty strictly regulated by the FTC.

The labeling rules for imported items are regulated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Here's a very simple, easy-to-understand website that spells out the rules for items to be labeled "made in the USA,"
What is the standard for a product to be called Made in USA without qualification?

For a product to be called Made in USA, or claimed to be of domestic origin without qualifications or limits on the claim, the product must be "all or virtually all" made in the U.S. The term "United States," as referred to in the Enforcement Policy Statement, includes the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories and possessions.

What does "all or virtually all" mean?

"All or virtually all" means that all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. That is, the product should contain no — or negligible — foreign content.

Originally Posted By: Miller88
From what I understand, the box has no legal bearing. It's the case of the item / body of the item that matters.

This. I assume most of these "the box is made in the USA" comments are jokes.

Originally Posted By: KGMtech
the electric motor is made in China, the blower assembly and /or the plastic surround is made in USA - perhaps.

If that were the case, it would seem reasonable to me that it would be a violation of the "all or virtually all" rule. The motor is a huge portion of the content and cost of this item.

It may be a total mistake, outdated sticker, etc.

If anyone wants to report violations of the FTC rules, here's how you do it. Someone on Garage Journal has used this to report violations and he got a response and eventually submitted photos and more evidence.:
What if I suspect noncompliance with the FTC’s Made in USA standard or other country-of-origin mislabeling?

Information about possible illegal activity helps law enforcement officials target companies whose practices warrant scrutiny. If you suspect noncompliance, contact the Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580; (202) 326-2996 or send an e-mail to [email protected].

If you know about import or export fraud, call Customs’ toll-free Commercial Fraud Hotline, 1-800-ITS-FAKE. Examples of fraudulent practices involving imports include removing a required foreign origin label before the product is delivered to the ultimate purchaser (with or without the improper substitution of a Made in USA label) and failing to label a product with a required country of origin.
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