NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
93,221 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 Pontiac Grand Prix electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Pontiac Grand Prix Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 072016

Grand Prix

  • 110 miles


While driving on the highway head lights went out, heard a very loud pop as if something burst, no longer does the rear defroster, air conditioner, heated seats, or information panel work. Running daylights no longer work as well.

- Kirkwood, MO, USA

problem #11

Dec 022013

Grand Prix

  • 180,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix. The contact stated that while driving 35 mph, the key would inadvertently release from the ignition switch and would continue to operate without it. In another occasion, the key failed to release from the ignition. The vehicle was taken to the dealer, who diagnosed the ignition switch and the wire from shifter needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 180,000.

- Waterford , MI, USA

problem #10

Nov 032014

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • 126,000 miles
Ignition switch circuit faulty checked on line seems like there is a lot of complaints pertaining to the same problem.

- Berlin, NJ, USA

problem #9

Aug 032014

Grand Prix

  • 164,000 miles


I have a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix that has not been included in the recall, I went to start my car and right before I pulled off it shut down. Thank goodness it happen before I drove off because my mechanic found a faulty electrical system and the wires had melted which could have resulted in a fire. More over the ignition cylinder needs to be replaced now.

- Akron, OH, USA

problem #8

Mar 102014

Grand Prix

  • 78,000 miles
There were several problems with my car beginning with rear defrost not working. The air would only work on high. Then as I was driving home one night I turned the fan to the air/heat off and my headlights went out nearly causing me to run off the road. Then at some point my car would not start and I would have to keep trying. Then it would not start at all. At first I was told it was the starter so I had that replaced, only to find out it was not the starter. Finally the problem was solved amazingly enough it was the ignition switch. There should be recalls on all these vehicles before more people are injured or killed because of a faulty product.

- Buchanan, TN, USA

problem #7

May 012008

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • miles
While I'm personally unaware of any crashes or people dying due to this problem on this model, GM has a well documented history of bad ignition switches on other models that are not included in the recall that they have known about for many years. The effects of the bad ignition switch with this model are: 1. the A/C - heater fan blower works intermittently, if you're lucky, and then only on high speed if it does. None of the other speeds work at all. 2. when you try to turn the fan motor on to run the heater or A/C, the headlights go out. While there are different schools of thought on the cause, after researching the internet, one component seemed to correct the problem every time. You must replace the ignition switch. The problem is not the resistor as some seem to think, but the ignition switch. Those who replaced the resistor always had to come back and replace the ignition switch. Those who replaced the ignition switch had fewer, if any, problems after that. I write this to you because I believe someone "up there" needs to know this information. I simply hope it doesn't fall on deaf ears like most things. I withhold further comment. Regards, [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6)

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #6

Feb 152012

Grand Prix

  • 130,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix. The contact stated that while parked, the headlights and air conditioner would not activate. Also, the heated seat failed malfunctioned. The contact mentioned that the failure occurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic who was unable to diagnose the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 130,000.

- Misson Viejo, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 012009

Grand Prix

  • 120,000 miles
When I turn on the blower switch, the blower doesn't work and the headlights go out. It mainly happens on the lower speeds but occasionally happens on high speed also. It is intermittent but happens around 75% of the time. This has been going on for about a year. I have checked all fuses and relays that seem to be related and find no problems there.

- Surprise, AZ, USA

problem #4

Apr 202010

Grand Prix

  • 116,562 miles
I have a 2003 Grand Prix SE and everytime I turn my ac/heater on my headlights go off, its 80+ degrees in the summer time. I can't keep driving with my windows down its too hot, not to mention I carry my friend and her kid around. I worry every night driving down the road that my headlights won't work. This is very dangerous for me and other traffic. I've read many forums and websites containing people with the same exact problem. Please make a recall. I've been told it the ignition switch and blower.

- Tyler, TX, USA

problem #3

Feb 062009

Grand Prix 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,985 miles
- the contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix. The contact stated that while sitting idle for 2 minutes he noticed smoke emanating from under the hood of the vehicle. Upon further inspection he noticed that the entire electrical system was destroyed. He used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. He contacted the manufacturer and has not received a response in reference to recall #09V116000 engine and engine cooling.the failure and current mileages were 116,985. Updated 05/18/09. Updated 05/20/09.

- North Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #2

Jan 122007

Grand Prix 4WD 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 87,000 miles
- the contact stated that while driving the 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix on a sunny day at 35 mph a deer ran out in front of the vehicle he swerved in order not to hit the deer and ran into a tree. The air bag deployed, the car caught on fire and was consumed by the fire. He had a hard time getting out the driver's side door, it would not open. He had to crawl out through the back window. The failure mileage was 87000 miles.

- Sterling, MI, USA

problem #1

May 152006

Grand Prix

  • miles
ABS brake and trac light in a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix stayed on. We took the vehicle to a Pontiac dealer and he stated that it would cost $925 to replace the computer system. It also stated that he would call GM headquarters and see if we could get some help from them. Apparently he received word from headquarters that if we had a 50,000 mile check-up at his dealership and pay $425 then he GM wouldn't charge us to correct the ABS and trac light problem. Of course we opted for this because it saved us money. But I wonder if this was a scam and GM wouldn't have charged us anything to fix the ABS and trac light system.

- Lawreville, GA, USA

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