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NHTSA — Exterior Lighting Problems


definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
46,125 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.

2004 Saab 9-3 lights problems

lights problem

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2004 Saab 9-3 Owner Comments

problem #4

Jan 062015


  • miles


Low beam headlights are so dim that the vehicle can not be safely driven at night. High beam work great.

- Stanton, NE, USA

problem #3

Mar 262013

9-3 4-cyl

  • 149,500 miles
The low beam headlights are not bright. Took it to a Saab dealer, was told that the wiring that turns of the headlights were burnt and ready to catch fire. Was told this would cost about $1000. Did some research and found this is not only common, but every Saab 9-3 has this problem. If this is such a bad thing, then why are there no recalls and this a concern?

- Morgantown, WV, USA

problem #2

Oct 182009


  • 35,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Saab 9-3. the contact stated that the low beam headlights were progressively becoming more dim over the last two years, reducing visibility. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where the contact was informed that this failure was a known issue. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 35,000 and the current mileage was 48,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #1

Jan 262010


  • 1 miles
The halogen headlights on the Saab 9-3, from 2003 through present, do not adequately illuminate the roadway. This type of headlight lamp design is known as a "projector beam" & is a different concept than traditional headlights. They're designed to better illuminate road signs & peripheral road markers, which they do, but as far as the primary purpose of headlights, (to illuminate the roadway in front of the vehicle) they are inadequate & only extend light about 40' down the roadway, which is not nearly enough to drive safely at night. Please note that this complaint is only regarding the lowbeam halogen headlights, as both the highbeams & optional xenon type headlights are more than adequate. The irony of this problem is that the Saab 9-3 is among the very safest cars available today, from a crash test perspective, but nighttime visibility is a separate safety related issue which I've never seen test results for. My family has owned Saab exclusively for the last 30 years & haven't had this headlight problem until we purchased a Saab model 9-3, of which we now own 2: an '04 & an '07, both of which suffer from the same problem. If you access the website & search on "dim headlights", you'll see numerous complaints regarding this same issue.

- Huntingdon Valley, PA, USA

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