As it is agreed that car owners and certainly the owners of new cars should be able to obtain their reasonable spares requirements without delay I am only too pleased to provide the clarification requested by your correspondent, Mr. Ritchie, which you have endorsed in your P.S. to his letter.
To coincide with the arrival of the first R.H.D. 1500/1800 models in late April we ordered and received a stock of spares which we estimated would be sufficient to meet any reasonable request. Arrangements were then made for a senior member of the B.M.W. Spares Department to spend several weeks at Brighton to assess our future needs and again the spares recommended were ordered and have since been received. As a result a sufficient stock of spares to cover a period of not less than five months has been built up. Topping up orders are placed at the beginning of each month with a supplementary order in the middle of the month, covering items that our rigid system of stock control indicate are being absorbed at a higher rate than anticipated. Why then, it may be asked, should any difficulty be experienced in supplying a comparatively normal spare? The answer in this particular case is that unless the correct minimum clearance exists at the slave cylinder in the hydraulic clutch operating mechanism, pressure is exerted on the rubber sealing washer in the master cylinder before it clears the drilled inlet port. This tends to force the washer into the port which in time cuts a very neat keyway in the washer and loss of opening pressure results.
Until the reason for this trouble was traced to the incorrect translation of the applicable measurement a number of cases of washer failure occurred. Understandably, owners and Dealers assumed that the master-cylinder had failed whereas only a rubber seal, which could be changed in a few minutes was involved. This led to an abnormal demand for master cylinders and subsequently for sealing washers with the result that what should have been sufficient stock to cover a minimum of five months, and probably much more, evaporated in a few days. Replacement stocks of seals were requested by telephone from Munich by airmail but even so it was several days before all requests for sealing washers could be met and somewhat longer before supplies of master cylinders arrived by air freight and were cleared through Customs.
In every case where the master cylinder washer has been replaced and the correct slave cylinder clearance provided no further trouble has been experienced, or is expected.
Mr. Ritchie’s faulty speedometer—noisy operation, not failure —has been replaced F.O.C. from stock under the guarantee; the flasher unit could have been supplied from stock, but due to a typing error—our fault—the wrong part number was submitted to the Spares Department. It has since been despatched and received. If Mr. Ritchie had asked his supplying Dealer instead of “presuming” he would have found that a replacement master cylinder for the one fitted to his car to help him out had been received but due to pressure of work had not been fitted, so that there is no question of this item being outstanding for one month as he suggests. Far from resenting the query raised by Mr. Ritchie and yourself, I welcome the opportunity that it has provided to clarify our intentions. Although it is not claimed that we are yet able to provide the full service that is our aim I hope that my comments indicate that pending the completion of our rapidly growing network of Area Distributors throughout the U.K., we have, by ordering and stocking the spares recommendations of the very service-conscious B.M.W. Company, done everything possib!e to achieve a position that enables us to meet owners and dealers spares needs without delay.
On his next visit to Scotland (he leaves today), our Service Representative will be contacting both Burns Service Garage of Ayr and Mr. Ritchie to provide any further assistance or clarification that may be necessary.
Why not set owners and potential owners minds at rest by paying us a visit?
J.M. West, p.p.B.M.W. Concessionaires England Ltd. – Brighton.
[Mr. West obviously cares very much. I now understand that this letter was not received until after we had gone to press, because he was away in Germany. He is now back and is determined to see that the local agents extend to B.M.W. owners the service the Concessionaires promise. We have been more than satisfied by the improved attention to our 1800, which is still such a joy to drive. — W.J.T.