Honeywell (NYSE: HON) announced that it has launched a new authentication measure to help customers avoid counterfeit refrigerants and ensure they are getting genuine Honeywell products.
All new containers of genuine Honeywell Genetron R-134a, a refrigerant widely used in automotive air conditioning and other applications, now have a barcode label that allows customers to use their mobile phones to immediately verify that they have received genuine Honeywell refrigerant.
The new measure is part of ongoing efforts by Honeywell to fight the proliferation of counterfeit refrigerants in the Middle East and elsewhere. Such counterfeits, which are often falsely labelled as Genetron, can damage air conditioning and contain dangerous chemicals.
“The new barcodes are a user friendly tool to allow customers to verify authenticity instantly, adding to the other authentication technologies we have developed in the past,” said Julien Soulet, managing director for Honeywell Fluorine Products in Europe, Middle East, Africa and India. “Honeywell will also continue to work closely with local law enforcement and other authorities to actively pursue and help prosecute counterfeiters of our Genetron refrigerants,” he added.
Honeywell is also continuing efforts to build awareness among its customers on the risks of using counterfeit products. This includes holding training seminars for contractors and distributors and providing them with information about the dangers of non-genuine products to share with end users.
Last year, Honeywell conducted a survey which revealed that residents of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are concerned about potentially dangerous counterfeit refrigerants, which are increasingly found in the Middle East. The majority of respondents indicated they would prefer a brand-name refrigerant for their home, office, car or refrigerator if it would limit the risks posed by counterfeit refrigerants.
In 2011, Honeywell announced that the combined efforts of police, customs, local municipalities and other government officials in the UAE resulted in the seizure of approximately 6,000 containers of counterfeit refrigerant being fraudulently sold under the Honeywell Genetron brand name. The counterfeit product actually contained dangerous toxic and flammable substances. According to local authorities, the counterfeit refrigerant was marked as Honeywell’s Genetron 134a, a common refrigerant for automobile air conditioning.
All Genetron refrigerants are subject to extensive quality and safety testing before they are sold. The safety and quality of Genetron refrigerants can only be guaranteed when buying the refrigerant from Honeywell-authorized suppliers.
Honeywell Performance Materials and Technologies has actively pursued counterfeits for more than 10 years with successful seizures in more than 20 countries covering six continents. During the last two years alone, Honeywell, working with local governments, have seized more than 200,000 counterfeit products.
Honeywell Fluorine Products is a world leader in the development and manufacture of refrigerants that are sold worldwide under the Genetron and Solstice® brand names for a range applications, including building and mobile air conditioning as well as refrigeration applications.