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Ford Headlight Investigation Opens

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a preliminary investigation last week regarding Ford models with lighting problems. The headlights on more than half a million Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis vehicles manufactured in 2005 are under review after scores of complaints were registered by owners of the vehicles. The defect has been linked to 15 crashes so far.

The majority of vehicle owner complaints involve the loss of headlights and exterior lighting while driving. In some cases, the lighting failed completely and without warning. In other cases, the lights flickered or dimmed before failing completely. NHTSA investigators evaluated some of the complaints in a 2008 investigation. That investigation did not yield a recall of the vehicles, but complaints have continued to roll in. 

A Ford spokesperson indicated that the company was cooperating with NHTSA investigators. The company reported receiving more than 3,000 complaints about failing headlights. Since the 2008 investigation, 15 accidents have been reported suggesting that failing headlights were the cause. The initial investigation resulted in a finding that the circuit board contained defective solder joints, leading to the loss of headlights. It is possible that, since no crashes had been reported at that time, a recall was not considered necessary to protect the safety of car owners. The new investigation will cover the new complaints and accidents, as well as initial reports of headlight failure.

Source: The Detroit News, "NHTSA opens investigation into Ford headlights," by David Shepardson, 14 August 2015 

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