NCCC Petitions NHTSA for Defect Petition For Saturn Head Lamp Failures
NCCC has learned of a safety defect trend in the headlights of Saturn Outlook vans that seems to be escaping the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
NCCC learned on November 9, 2011, from a concerned member that head lamp assemblies in late model Saturn Outlook vehicles were experiencing wiring harness melting and burning leading to a loss of head lamp function. He discovered several other complaints like his while doing a web search.
NCCC contracted with a third party firm to remove and inspect the member's head lamp assembly. The results were disturbing.
Both head lamp assemblies showed wiring harness damage at the connector leading to the low beam head lamp bulb. The head lamp bulb, wiring harness and socket assembly on the driver side was the most seriously affected and had completely melted. There was no evidence of any prior repairs, prior damage, or current malfunctions to account for the melting.
Unfortunately for consumers, the repair for such a problem often seems to be the replacement of both head lamp assemblies if the wiring has been severely affect at nearly $400 each plus labor.
NCCC performed some research on the issue and discovered that the consumer's 2008 Saturn Outlook was not alone. There are hundreds of similar complaints across all model years of the Saturn Outlook. NCCC was successful in petitioning for a recall of the Saturn L-Series Sedan in 2005 for lighting problems affecting the tail lights. That petition was based upon on 52 complaints reported to NHTSA.
Obviously, NCCC is very concerned and has petitioned for an investigation, a prompt recall, and redress to consumers who have had a series of costly repairs.
Update: January 5, 2011- The manufacturer is in contact with our case vehicle's owner and will be inspecting it.
Update: January 17, 2011 - The subject vehicle has been repaired at no cost by the manufacturer. Inspection and analysis continues.
Update: June 12, 2012 - NHTSA is officially investigating the problem.