Exterior Lighting
Exterior Lighting:Headlights

Date Announced
Vehicles Affected
NHTSA Campaign #
DP15002
Summary
In a letter dated October 2, 2014 the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) was initially petitioned by the North Carolina Consumers Council, Inc. requesting a defect investigation of an alleged defect condition resulting in headlight and/or exterior lighting failure on 2003-2005 Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis vehicles.ODI analyzed Vehicle Owner Questionnaire (VOQ) complaints received from consumers and identified a total of 605 reports (for all submission dates) alleging headlight failure.The complaints indicate failures of both low beam headlights typically while driving, a defect condition that was evaluated under a prior ODI investigation (PE08066).Most consumer VOQs indicate that the headlights failed suddenly and without warning leaving the driver with no forward lighting, however some report the headlights flickered or dimmed prior to turning off.In some cases drivers were able to turn the headlights back on after a period of time while others reported the headlights would not come back on at all.Consumers noted they were able to hold the "flash to pass" lever on the steering column mounted stalk to activate the high beams however this is only effective as long as the lever is actuated.ODI identified 4 VOQ reports alleging minor crash or loss of control incidents due to headlight failures.Drivers indicated running off of the road due to a lack of headlights and one driver reportedly struck a deer.No injuries were indicated in the VOQ crashes.In response to ODI's April 7, 2015 Information Request letter, Ford provided data indicating it has received 3,092 complaints of failed headlights related to the Lighting Control Module (LCM), a device that controls the headlights and other lighting functions.This number includes the complaints Ford reviewed and classified as headlight failure due specifically to the LCM.Within Ford's complaints, there are 11 reports alleging a crash occurred.These drivers reported hitting objects, including other vehicles after the headlights failed causing damage to the affected vehicles.One driver was injured when their car struck an unseen object in the road, jerking the steering wheel from their hands and injuring their shoulder.In total 15 crash allegations were identified, all of which have occurred since ODI's prior evaluation of this issue.This petition has been granted.Preliminary Evaluation PE15-028 has been opened to assess the scope, frequency, and safety-related consequences of the alleged defect.The ODI reports cited above can be reviewed at www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SarchNHTSAID under the identification (ODI) numbers found in the attached list.
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