POTENTIALLY deadly counterfeit motor racing harnesses have been uncovered by Carmarthenshire Trading Standards.

The counterfeit harnesses bearing the Sabelt, Sparco and Takata brand names, have been sold on eBay and Facebook by a Carmarthenshire trader, amongst a range of counterfeit car accessories and clothing.

The trader at the centre of the investigation is not currently being identified pending possible prosecution, but the trading standards team are warning people about the fakes to prevent anyone being injured, or even killed, by using the harnesses unaware that they are dangerous.

The team has also released a shocking video showing the ‘catastrophic fail’ of the counterfeit Sparco six-point harness failing in controlled safety test conditions at just 50mph.

The harness failed on several points, indicating that in a real life situation - and under normal use - it could cause death or serious injury.

The counterfeit harness under test was branded as Sparco. There is a real risk that the counterfeit Sabelt and Takata harnesses sold by this trader could also similarly fail.

The Trading Standards team is working closely with the official product manufacturers and relevant government authorities in issuing a nationwide warning notification about the fake harnesses.

Customers known to have bought the counterfeit Sparco, Sabelt and Takata harnesses from this trader have been advised to remove them from their vehicles immediately and seek civil advice.

The team has stressed that there are no safety issues with genuine Sparco, Sabelt and Takata harnesses, all being reputable brands within the motor racing industry,.

Trading Standards urge customers to buy only through an authorised stockist of the brand they are interested in when purchasing a new harness.

Cllr Jim Jones, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Public Protection, said: “We are very concerned about these counterfeit products. Not only are they cheaply made fakes, but they could be potentially fatal.

“We are pleased to be working with the official manufacturers of the Sabelt, Sparco and Takata harnesses to help customers identify whether they have bought a genuine product or an imported fake.”

* Anyone with concerns about harnesses, or other motor racing safety products bought from an unofficial or discounted seller, should contact their local Trading Standards team for advice. In Carmarthenshire, contact Trading Standards on email tradingstandards@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or call 01267 234567.