NHTSA Revisits Ford Exterior Lighting Failures
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it may reopen a probe into complaints of headlamp and other exterior lighting failures in 2003-2005 model Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis large sedans.
NHTSA ended its first investigation six years ago after finding no safety-related defect. The new probe, which was requested by the North Carolina Consumers Council Inc., would cover 517,900 vehicles.
The council blames the failure of the front lighting control module with causing the headlamps of affected vehicles to switch off while the car is moving. The group complains that Ford extended the warranty for the module to 15 years or 250,000 miles under a customer satisfaction program, but replacement parts haven't been readily available for nearly a year.
The council also cites Ford's own admission that the lighting control modules contain defective solder joints. It notes that NHTSA's Web site shows more than 600 complaints and seven crashes attributed to the problem.
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