The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is responsible for investigating potential defects in motor vehicles and large vehicle manufacturers’ methods of safety testing. These investigations help determine which vehicles are monitored and manufactured effectively. In July, the agency investigated General Motor’s screening process for 42,000 recalled vehicles with defective Generator Control Modules due to reports of a fire in a repaired vehicle. Reports of hazards in cars that haven’t been recalled also prompt NHTSA investigations. The NHTSA is currently investigating potentially defective headlights on more than 100,000 Chevrolet Corvettes.
According to the NHTSA, the agency finished a preliminary evaluation of the headlights on approximately 103,107 Corvettes from the 2005 through 2007 model years. The NHTSA found that both low-beam headlights on the Corvettes would stop functioning properly “simultaneously and without warning.” To date, no accidents or injuries have been reported due to the issue, but the NHTSA has received many complaints on its website about the headlight failure, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In the many reports the agency has received, owners of the vehicles have described how the low-beams on the models will stop functioning after driving the car for a short amount of time. Some of the reports claim the headlight issue puts the vehicle’s occupants in danger because of the driver’s inability to see the upcoming road in certain conditions. Others reported that the low-beams worked again after a while, usually after parking the vehicle, according to Detroit News. General Motors reports that the headlight malfunction is caused by a broken wire in the electrical center located near the engine.
Although General Motors says warranty claims involving this issue are “extremely low,” the NHTSA will determine if a recall needs to be issued after conducting an engineering analysis. If it is determined that the vehicles pose an “unreasonable safety risk,” then the NHTSA can ask General Motors to recall the vehicles. General Motors is cooperating with the NHTSA investigation.