NHTSA — Exterior Lighting Problems

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
50,061 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 Oldsmobile Alero lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Oldsmobile Alero Owner Comments

problem #9

Jan 082016


  • 174,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero. While driving 30 mph, the turn signals failed to function and smoke emitted from the top part of the steering column. In addition, while driving 55 mph, the headlights and horn failed to function. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 174,000.

- Belleville, IL, USA

problem #8

Apr 112014

Alero 6-cyl

  • miles
Upon purchasing this vehicle in March of 2014 I have had numerous issues with it. One issue being it would not start. I let the dealer I bought it from look at it and he took it to a garage that he usually deals with and they told me they replaced the starter. However, I'm almost positive it had something to do with the ignition switch recall. Another issue is the horn randomly started going off in the driveway one day and now the horn does not work at all. The most concerning issue is that of the electrical problems I've been having with the car. The parking lights stay on, forcing me to have to disconnect the battery every time I leave the car for extended periods of time. The turning signals work intermittently, sometimes only after 7pm through 8am I won't even be able to get the signals to turn on. Other times they won't work if the windshield wipers are on.

- Huntington, WV, USA

problem #7

Sep 012011

Alero 4-cyl

  • 35,550 miles
This incident occurred for the first time on a rainy day in 2011. I was a new driver at the time. While I was traveling at approximately 45 mph on my way to school, I put on my turn signal to change lanes. There was heavy traffic on the road, and I was going to need someone to let me into the lane. My turn signal, however, malfunctioned and would not illuminate. The resulting lack of communication between myself and the other driver very nearly caused an accident. This problem has persisted intermittently for the last three years. The malfunctioning of the turn signals occurs most often during wet or humid conditions. Only recently did I discover the source of the problem. When I attempt to activate the turn signal and it malfunctions, it can oftentimes be remedied by applying a small amount of pressure to the hazard light button. It was only a few days ago that I encountered an existing recall for earlier models of my car. The hazard light button has been recalled on the previous two model years (2001-2002) of the Oldsmobile Alero. It can not be a coincidence that the same problem is occurring in my vehicle. I looked into getting the button replaced, but the labor costs make replacement an expensive option. I should not have to pay for a systemic defect that egregiously affects the functionality and safety of my vehicle. Please consider extending the recall of the hazard light button to the 2003 model year of the Oldsmobile Alero. Thank you.

- Kingsport, TN, USA

problem #6

Oct 042012

Alero 4-cyl

  • 64,000 miles


The blinkers stopped working, but realized there was a short with the hazard lights as soon as I would push the hazard lights in a little the blinkers would start working. Recently pushing the hazard lights does not make the blinker blink, nor does it cause the hazard lights to work anymore. Was told by mechanic this is a common problem with the 2003 Alero.

- Crookston, MN, USA

problem #5

Feb 222010

Alero 6-cyl

  • 97,000 miles
2003 Oldsmobile Alero ---- turn signals are intermittent. Turn signals quit working and fail to warn other drivers of intentions to turn causing unsafe driving conditions. Near miss accidents have occurred as a result of turn signal failures.

- Clinton, UT, USA

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problem #4

Jan 012010


  • miles
Blinker indicator on 2003 Oldsmobile Alero sporatically works, causing extreme danger when driving because it prevents driver from notifying other drivers on the road of lane changes, left/right hand turns, or vehicle problems when hazard lights are turned on but vehile fails to respond. 2003 Alero sporatically makes "click" noises such as when one uses the blinker, even though driver has not initiated blinker use and blinker indicator lights do not display on the outside of the vehicle. The "click" noise speed varies, sometimes every second, other times it "clicks" as if in a frenzy "click-A-click-A-click-A-click-a..." and so on. When blicker actually is put to use by driver, sometimes it operates as a blinker should, ie, staying on until either the turn is made or the driver manually returns the blinker indicator back to it's standard position, other times it will turn itself off prematurely, ie, while the driver is still waiting to turn, before steering wheel is turned - and blinker indicator remains in the "in use" position...blinking lights on the outside of the vehicle just stop working as if the driver turned the blinker off him/herself. Other times when blinker is used, nothing happens. No blinker indicator lights appear on outside of the vehicle to indicate to other drivers that a turn/lane change is attempting to be made. According to Oldsmobile customer service on 9/1/10, there is no recall for this defect for the 2003 Alero, although other late model Alero have had a recall issued for this same defect. See: NHTSA campaign id number: 03V327000. The only option at this point for 2003 Alero owners to prevent their vehicle from being a road hazard is to have a dealership fix the manufacturer defect at a cost of $120-$200 out of pocket, even though this is a known and common issue on late model Alero....or wait around for Oldsmobile to issue a recall for a vehicle 7+ yrs old at this point and fix for free as they should.

- Smithfield, RI, USA

problem #3

Oct 102006


  • miles


Purchased 2003 Alero in 2004, 2nd one (I loved the first one), with 32K miles. Vinyl over passenger airbag was peeling - dealer fixed at no cost - now in 2010 it peeled off completely. At 39K had to replace the ignition cylinder. One of the front drivers side window bracket broke - waiting for the window to fall into the door. At about 50K the turn signal clicking starting without using the signals & is still do it today. I have not tried to fix it because I have read so many thing on the internet about cost & that it was recalled on older Alero models. It has finally gotten to the point that the signals only work part time and I have to turn on the hazards to get the turn signal to work - accident causing I think so. The plastic around the gear shift that lights up at night now gets hot enough to hurt if touched. I am very disappointed that GM won't help so many people that have put money and faith in their product. I think GM just doesn't want to deal with the olds products. If it was a problem then and there are so many complaints now then it must still be a problem. I personally will not recommend a GM vehicle to anyone and will be going back to Ford.

- Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

problem #2

Aug 092007


  • miles
I have a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero that I bought used with 48,000 miles. And I have a similar problem as many other people. Sometimes when I go to put turn signal on, it won't work. This happens at random times with no notice. I often get honked at for not using my turn signal, when I have every intention of doing so, they just won't work. Also, sometimes when I start my car, the dials do not come on automatically. They all remain on zero. It has even taken up to 5 minutes for my communication system to register that I have started the car. Also, at times my air conditioner will just stop blowing. It comes back on in a few minutes, but it will come on and go off several times. Then it will finally remain on. All these things happen in conjunction with each other but I can't be able to locate the cause of the problems. I don't even know if they are related, I just know they all happen at the same time.

- Corpus Christi, TX, USA

problem #1

Sep 262008


  • 80,000 miles
I own a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero that has an intermittent problem with the turn signals/hazard switch. The turn signals will fail to operate without prior notification. Last Friday this almost resulted in an rear-end accident as I was making a left turn from a two lane highway. When I referred to Alero problems and fixes I noticed recall id#32353. This is the exact problem that occurred with the 1999-2001 olds Alero. I found that when the signals fail to operate an upward push on the hazard switch allows the signal to operate. This situation needs to be reviewed further as the problem does not seem to be resolved. I can not speak for others but if this failure resulted in injuries that caused the recall in 2003 the same considerations needs to be held for the later models in 2002 and 2003. The internet is loaded with this turn signal issue.

- Niagara Falls, NY, USA

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