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Thursday, 15 August 1974
Page: 1039

Senator Primmer asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport, upon notice:

(   1 ) What information does the Minister obtain regarding the safety-related defect campaigns carried out by motor vehicle manufacturers.

(2)   Were the first Bedford ERV6 model trucks released with helper springs too short at the rear; if so, how many of these trucks were sold.

(3)   Did the manufacturers concerned recall the vehicles for modification; if so, how many were returned for modification.

Senator Cavanagh - The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) The Australian Transport Advisory Council of which I am the Chairman in July 1972 endorsed the Uniform Code of Practice for Safety-related Recall Campaigns prepared by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. In July 1973 the FCAI agreed that all recall campaigns should be publicised. Detailed information is obtained about those recall campaigns which have been of specific interest to me. These details include number of vehicles involved, description of the nature of the defect, the method of rectification and other relevant background information.

(   2 ) General Motors Holdens have advised that some early production Bedford ERV6 model trucks were released with the helper spring top leaf two inches too short at the rear. This caused it to ride on the front corner of the helper bracket. It is not known how many Bedford ERV6 model trucks were fitted with the faulty component. Up to the time the manufacturers were alerted the model had been in production for five years and 127 vehicles had been produced. Some of these vehicles were fitted with helper springs two inches too short.

(3)   I am informed that as the manufacturers did not consider the fault to be safety related, no recall campaign was instituted. When the manufacturers became aware of the problem, in September 1973, all dealers and fleet owners were notified and arrangements were made for correction under warranty provisions with a specially prepared correction kit. Only two kits were requested by dealers.

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