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Thursday, 3 October 1974
Page: 1690

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

(   1 ) On how many Holden HQ, Bedford CF and Torana LJ Model cars did General Motors-Holden's Pty Ltd replace oil pumps, and at whose cost.

(2)   Was the fault a result of incorrect checking procedures on the transmissions of these vehicles.

Senator Cavanagh - The Minister for Transport has provided the following answer:

My Department has received no complaints about the matter raised in the question. It was discussed with General Motors-Holden's Pty Ltd and they provided the following information.

We presume the question refers to the oil pump in automatic transmissions rather than the lubricating oil pump. A Service Letter first issued in December 1972, covered Trimatic transmissions fitted to Holden, Torana, and Bedford CF. In it we advised dealers of a sleeve with a smoother surface finish that would be fitted to the transmission oil pump to obviate the possibility of misalignment in the pump, which could lead to two sealing rings, jamming. We replaced this component at no cost to the owners, in vehicles where the fault developed. These totalled 391 vehicles, or 0.1 per cent of our production of these models.

In January 1974 we issued a further Service Letter, listing serial numbers, informing dealers of the introduction of changes to the transmission oil pump.

The oil pump in the Trimatic Transmission provides the hydraulic pressure for shifts in gear ratios.

There was no operating fault in the original components. However, a problem known as hunting had been experienced between 2nd and 3rd gear, especially by some owners when towing caravans and, to help to overcome this condition we advised our dealers of what we had done to prevent owners operating under towing conditions experiencing this hunting.

Where the fault appeared, we arranged for the new components to be fitted at no cost to the owners. This applied to a total of391 vehicles orO.l per cent of our production of these models.'

In July 1972, the Australian Transport Advisory Council approved, on a trial basis, a uniform code of practice for safety related defect campaigns which had been prepared by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

The operations of the scheme were to be reviewed, and in fact, several weeks ago I asked my Department to convene a meeting to review the operation of the Code. These deliberations will include consideration of the extent of the Code 's coverage, but I should add that the matters raised in this question would not come within the scope of the Code as it is framed at present.

I repeat the invitation I issued last March, for people with complaints about the quality of their vehicles to submit them directly to me. Special 'hot line' contracts have been established between my Department and motor vehicle manufacturers to ensure that legitimate complaints receive prompt attention.

I might also add that I will ask the new National Authority on Road Safety and Standards, as soon as it is established, to investigate the incidence of defects in motor vehicles, not necessarily related to safety, which are causing concern to consumers generally.

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