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NHTSA — Exterior Lighting Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
3 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
85,981 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2003 Mercury Grand Marquis lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Mercury Grand Marquis Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #38

Apr 042011

Grand Marquis 8-cyl

  • 96,000 miles


I own a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. The problem started with my headlights flicking on and off while driving at night and quickly progressed to turning off and not coming back on at all. I replaced the dashboard headlight control and they worked for about a week and then they started turning off again while driving but if I flicked my high beams they would come back on for about 15 min or so and go back off. After a couple of days of that they just quit working at all. Once again I replaced the dashboard switch to no avail.

- Purvis, MS, USA

problem #37

Mar 092011

Grand Marquis 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. The contact was driving approximately 55 to 60 mph when the head lights and the instrument panel lights failed without warning. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnosis or repairs. The contact stated that the electronic control module failed and that he would be replacing the component himself. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and the current mileage was 48,000. The lighting module was replaced. Updated 09/16/11

- Springfield , MO, USA

problem #36

Oct 012010

Grand Marquis

  • 160,000 miles
The automatic external lights go off or do not turn on at all.

- New Orleans, LA, USA

problem #35

Nov 292010

Grand Marquis 8-cyl

  • 89,000 miles


Headlights failed while driving at night, shortly after starting, 2-5 minutes. This happened with the light control in automatic or in manual modes. After pulling off of road in traffic, the lights began working within 2 or 3 minutes, apparently this is a common defect in this auto.

- Dillsburg, PA, USA

problem #34

Nov 072010

Grand Marquis 8-cyl

  • 109,000 miles
While driving on a back road on my way home from work, headlights went out and could not be turned back on. Headlights were in the auto mode when they went out, I switched to manual while braking so not to hit anything hard and they did not come back on. I pulled over and parked. I tried them again in about five minutes and they worked for about 10 minutes and then did the same thing. I have not had the car looked at yet, but on the internet found several similar stories and believe it is the light control module. I am shocked there has not been a recall based on all the complaints online about the 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis, I'm glad I wasn't asleep at the wheel when this happened to me! please do something about this, it is a serious problem!!!

- Sagamore, MA, USA

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problem #33

Jun 152010

Grand Marquis

  • 122,000 miles
I am having a problem with my headlights turning off while driving or not turning on after I have the car off for a few minutes. All the other exterior lights work at this time. I thought it was only happened when I had it in automatic lights but now it happens when I turn the lights on manually too. Sometimes if you move the blinker switch around they will come back on but other times they won't. I have had to drive holding the the blinker arm back to have the brights on so I can make it home. It started in June and happened very intermittently but now 5 months later it is happening every time I drive at night.

- Fond Du Lac, WI, USA

problem #32

Jan 102009

Grand Marquis

  • miles


Headlights turn off randomly. I do not have to go into detail here just look at all the other complaints for the same problem. Hard to believe that a recall has not been issued for a part that controls the headlights.

- St Petersburg, FL, USA

problem #31

Sep 142010

Grand Marquis 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 98,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. The contact stated that while driving 45 mph at night, the low beam headlights shut off and the contact crashed into a ditch. The front and rear passengers tires were damaged. The contact was not injured. The dealer was informed about the failure and they stated that they never heard of that before. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure mileage was 98000. The current mileage was 100000. Updated 01/11/2011 the consumer stated the low beams failed. Updated 02/28/11

- Westland , MI, USA

problem #30

Sep 232010

Grand Marquis

  • 88,500 miles
Headlights quit lcm at fault.

- Laingsburg, MI, USA

problem #29

Aug 122008

Grand Marquis

  • 75,000 miles
I have two complaints, my first complaint is, I own a 2003 Grand Marquis. I have to be to work @ 3 in the morning so one day I was headed to work on a dark road and all of a sudden my light turn off by themselves. I pulled over and played with the light switch and it came back on. The next day it did it again, and I repeated the same steps. So for the third day they didn't come on at all. I took it to Ford the same day and they said it was the lcm, which would cost a estimated $750 dollars to replace it. I had to hold the bright lights til I saved enough money to get it replaced. My other complaint is about the A/C climate control unit, this is another major problem. One day its was working fine, then the next day it was not blowing out the proper vents, then eventually it stop working. I can feel a little air blowing out once I hit about 65 mph on the freeway. Again I took it 2 Ford and it would be another $650 to replace it. I asked around town and a lot of people are having the same problems. Something needs to be done about this. If you check ebay, they do have services that rebuild both the lcm and the climate control unit for anywhere between $75 and $200 dollars.

- Birmingham, AL, USA

problem #28

Jul 102009

Grand Marquis

  • 64,000 miles


I own a 2003 Grand Marquis. I bought the vehicle in 2004 with 19,000 miles on it. I have loved this car it is great to drive. Two problems I have with this car is that the hubcaps are crap, they rattle when I drive, one came off completely and I had to stop and get it. I am now looking to replace them. The second problem is my major concern and that is lcm(lighting control module) I had an accident (minor) but I did damage the front end. Upon completion of the repairs, my car stayed at repair because the lights would not not cool. I got the car back and driving one evening my lights went out. The mechanic and I have taken it to several other mechanics and the switch was thought to be the problem but after two weeks and several mechanics, the problem is a $500 problem. I was told not to drive with the lights on automatic because it causes the inside casing to heat up. The lcm (lighting control module) is bad, I was given some info off the internet and the mechanic said he had just replaced the lcm on four cars that week. This should not happen. I was told the automatic light mechanism was not perfected and it is best to drive with the automatic lights off and to use them manually. Until I could replace the module. I need my vehicle as I am disabled and I have spent $2500, I do not have the $500 plus labor to replace the lcm.

- Atlanta, GA, USA

problem #27

Mar 052009

Grand Marquis

  • miles
2003 Mercury Grand Marquis headlight fail. Every other thing is working. Now this is serious because it happens every 5 minutes and remains for at least 10 minutes. Confirmed that the lcm is the source of problem. This is a mistake by Ford and they should pay for it as I discovered many owners has the same problem. Is there any recall by Ford for this one?

- Jeddah, 00, USA

problem #26

Aug 142010

Grand Marquis

  • 45,000 miles
The headlights go out on my 2003 Mercury marquis while driving, they will go on again if I shut down the car and let it sit for about 10 minutes, but the issue will occur again once I drive for 15 - 20 minutes. This seems like a wide spread problem in this make and model, I have researched it on the internet and found dozens of complaints about this issue.

- Dania, FL, USA

problem #25

Jul 032010

Grand Marquis

  • 31,000 miles
Facts: I own a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis that had total headlight failure while driving 55 mph. Although I ran off the road I was able to recover with no damage/injury/loss of life because I was familiar with the road/the car/and sadly, previous experience with total headlight failure in a previous vehicle (2001 Dodge durango). Once I stopped I checked all obvious things for failure (battery/fuses/etc) but soon realized I had parking lights/turn signals/side marker lights/dash lights/tail lights/and even brake lights...everything except headlights. I tried the high-beam position and no luck there either - until I pulled the multi-function switch toward the steering wheel to the "flash" the high-beam position. I continued to hold the switch in this position and drive with my high-beams on for the few miles I had left to my destination. Once home I turned vehicle off gathered my test equipment and began my troubleshooting just to find out that now everything worked as advertised. That held true for approx. 1500 miles ż or about 2 months (with initial failure at approx 31,000 miles) when headlights failed again; and now they even fail intermittently at any time to include daylight hours. My troubleshooting revealed the lighting control module (lcm) is the cause of failure, but more importantly, my investigation revealed this is a known literally hundreds of include you people of the NHTSA. My analysis tells me that the failure is probably not miles related but more likely usage related since my 31+ years (and counting) in the military taught me to drive with my headlights on 24/7/365 in the see and be seen philosophyżadd the fact that I currently have 34,000 miles where most have a lot more. Opinion: A 3rd grader could have done the research to identify this is a serious problem and an 8th grader could make the decision to recall the cars for total headlight failure. If you can't - take your loved ones for a ride in my car at night!!!

- Niceville, FL, USA

problem #24

Aug 142010

Grand Marquis

  • 128,000 miles
The head lights on my Mercury Grand Marquis go out when I drive at night. I have searched the web for solutions to this problem. It turns out this is a recurring problem with thousands of other owners of this model. It is a serious issue when you are driving on country roads or on the interstate and your lights go out and you can't see anything. The lights usually remain off for about ten minutes or so. Mercury needs to be responsible for this issue before a serious accident happens (if one hasn't already).

- New Carlisle, OH, USA

problem #23

Mar 012010

Grand Marquis

  • 65,000 miles
Hello, we have a 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis that has a problem with the head lights shutting off at random times. Nothing gave warning to this problem happening, we bought the car used, and was just fine for a year, then all of a sudden one day the headlights just go out. The first time it happened was about 6 months ago(3-1-10). Now everytime it is driven with the headlights on, it is guaranteed to happen at least once and sometimes up to 5 times just in 3 miles of driving on my wife's way home from work. The only way to get the lights back on after they go out is to pull over to the side of the road, shut the car off, let sit for a few min, then start and they work again for a bit. This is overall very dangerous and surprising that we have not been in an accident or received a ticket yet! I am a active member on a Crown Victoria forum, and with little searching on that site or google you will see tons of reports of this being a very common problem on the 2003-2005 Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, and Mercury marauder. With the help of other members on that forum it was found to be a faulty lcm(lighting control module) which has a problem with overheating lighting relays. The only way to remedy this problem is to purchase a new lcm for anywhere between $250 and $600 with no guarantee how long that part will last. I actually purchased a new one today. Very expensive fix just for the use of headlights, but I value my families safety more. I will be keeping my old lcm to possibly have it repaired for when my new part fails again. Thanks so much.

- St. Joseph, MN, USA

problem #22

Jun 012010

Grand Marquis 8-cyl

  • 62,127 miles
My 2003 Mercury Grand Marquis began experiencing headlight failure over a period of months, with both lower beams randomly going off and then after several minutes or hours coming back on. Other internal lights and light sensors continued to work normally. This happened several times while driving on an unlighted road at night, creating a dangerous situation, unable to see the road ahead or other cars seeing me coming. NHTSA action number PE08066 describes a similar problems caused by a defective printed circuit board in the light control module (lcm), resulting in several thousand warranty claims. In fact, this has been determined to be the defective part on my car, which has now been replaced by a Ford dealer at a cost of $511.07 for the lcm plus $184.97 labor and tax. Ford advises me that my car was not in the recall campaign, but obviously it has developed the same problem. An upgraded part lcm has been developed by Ford for replacement. I believe I should have been notified of this earlier for replacement so I would not have experienced this dangerous situation. The ODI investigation was closed 3/24/09. I believe it should be reopened as dealers tell me that they replace "lots" of these modules. I have retained the defective lcm for analysis.

- Searcy, AR, USA

problem #21

Apr 302010

Grand Marquis 8-cyl

  • 76,000 miles
While driving my 2003 Mercury marquis one evening, my headlights went out. I tried turning the switch on the dashboard to the headlight position because originally it was on the sensor position, but they didn't come back on. No matter what I did, they remained off. From that night on, my headlights work sporadically. Sometimes they'll come on right away and then go out while driving. Sometimes they'll come on in the daylight with the switch in the off position. It's very scary when you're driving down a back country road where there's no street lights and your headlights go out. The only way I could get light was to hold back on the high beam lever. That was weird too because the high beams wouldn't work when I put the lever in the on position, only when I pulled back on the lever which puts the high beams on for as long as you hold the lever. One night I drove for about 5 miles and the headlights stayed on the whole time. There's just no knowing when they're going to work, and if they do, how long they'll stay on. I understand it's going to be very expensive to fix the problem, but I don't have $800 so haven't had it repaired yet. I just don't drive after dark, which is very inconvenient!

- Fredericksburg, VA, USA

problem #20

May 262003

Grand Marquis

  • 54,834 miles
I have a 2003 Grand Marquis gs, the headlights started turning off for no particular reason. This is extremely dangerous; one time I had a car full of children and the lights went out on a back road, I almost drove into a tree. I had to ride home with the highbeams on. It turns out that its an expensive part and a very common complaint for this model; why is there not a recall, we could have been injured and if so many complaints are being filed why is nothing being done?

- Jenlintown, PA, USA

problem #19

Apr 172009

Grand Marquis

  • miles
I own a Mercury Grand Marquis 03 at approx. 65,000 miles I was driving in tampa and the lights went out. It didn't do it for a while then they went out again and now they go out often. I took car to dealership at 72K however warranty was up and they would charge me like %800 for parts and labor. This is very dangerous after reading it appears that is a common defect in these cars.

- Clermont, FL, USA

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