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U.S. officials probe Corvette headlamp problem

By David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — U.S. safety regulators on Friday opened a preliminary investigation into more than 100,000 Chevrolet Corvette sports cars after complaints of sudden loss of headlights.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is investigating 103,374 2005-207 Corvettes after receiving 30 complaints from owners reporting a loss of both low-beam headlights while driving at night without warning.

“The loss of illumination impairs the driver’s ability to see the roadway,” NHTSA said, saying it could boost the chances of a crash.

In one of the 30 reports, a driver ran over a discarded tire while attempting to pull off the road, NHTSA said. Some complaints said the problem is intermittent and some reported that low-beam headlight functionality returned after a period of time, typically after the vehicle has been parked. The high-beam headlights and fog lights remain operational, NHTSA said.

Some complaints and fan forums suggest the problem is related to a fuse block under the hood.

One Arizona owner in 2011 reported to NHTSA that he was driving down a highway “at night when my low-beams disengaged, placing me in the dark and almost caused a wreck. I drove the rest of the way with my high-beams,” he wrote.

The next day the low beams worked — but stopped after five minutes. A Corvette mechanic said he needed to replace the fuse block, but he declined because it was too expensive. Instead, fellow Corvette owners suggested he let the car run until the lights failed and then to place a bag of ice on the fuse block.

“I did and within 10 minutes the lights came back on.”

The Corvettes under investigation are the sixth generation of the iconic vehicle. GM is launching its seventh generation Corvette later this year.
From The Detroit News.



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