NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,095 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.

2001 Pontiac Montana electrical problems

electrical problem

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2001 Pontiac Montana Owner Comments

problem #12

Mar 012014

Montana 6-cyl

  • 165,000 miles


I backed up to the laundry to wash clothes and proceeded to put the car in park and get out to get clothes out of the back. I pushed the brake and thought I had put the car in park because the key came out. When I started to step out of the van to get my clothes out of the back and my foot came off the brake, the car was still running and backed into a block wall. The wall was destroyed, but no one was hurt. The back door of the van is crushed. After a close examination of the ignition lock I found that the key will come out in any position, including running. I had thought the key was not supposed to come out except in the off position. Is this correct" I attempted to find out if it was in the GM recall from my local GM dealer and they claimed ignorance of anything and everything. Including even what constitutes a defective switch and what it is supposed to do and not do. It's like pulling teeth trying to get them to say anything. They say the factory sends them a list affected cars and they will not touch anything else no matter what the circumstances. The smell of gasoline is strong at times but a cursory examination by a mechanic doesn't show anything. After viewing the recalls concerning gas leaks I am worried. Can you tell me by the VIN how many of the recalls shown on your page this vehicle has had and what it has missed before it burns me to death"

- Sallis, MS, USA

problem #11

May 242011


  • miles
The contact owns a 2001 Pontiac Montana. The contact stated that the vehicle was experiencing failures within the elextrical system, which was causing the cruise control, anti lock braking system, and speed sensor to fail. As a result, the transaction and air bag lights would illuminate on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer and the contact was informed that the failure was related to the failure addressed in the recall associated with NHTSA campaign id number 02V329000 (air bags frontal). The contact was also informed that the check valve pin for the air bags was in the wiring harness and causing all of the failures. The vehicle was not included in the recall. The failure mileage was unknown and the current mileage was 180,000.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #10

Feb 032010

Montana 6-cyl

  • 112,438 miles
Service traction light stays on. Turn signal lights blinked really fast and they light up everytime I push on the break. Replaced brakes. Problem caused tail lamp circuit board and light bulbs to burn out and melt connectors. Was unable to drive the vehicle because people on the road would not know when I was breaking and could possibly run into me. Knocking sound on right wheel and steering wheel is loose. Replaced stabilizers and sensors, rotated and balanced wheels. Scared that I may loose control of the car because it causes the traction to turn off and the vehicle slides which could lead to a multi-car accident. It also needs new shocks; they are leaking. Vehicle is running hot and is eating up the coolant. Have already put 2 gallons in the vehicle since Sept. Water pump is leaking. Passenger window keeps getting stuck. Dealership says that the door needs to be replaced because it is an electrical issue. The majority of the problems that I am having are due to electrical issues. If you google problems with this particular model, you will find that the complaints are regarding the same issues that I have stated. I am low income and cannot afford to keep spending money to hypothesize what is the cause. I need GM to find out what is wrong with this vehicle. I can't get out of my contract and this vehicle is a road hazard. I noticed the issue with the door the same that I test drove the vehicle. The dealership refused to repair it even though it was on the inspection report. Still disputing issue with them. I noticed the problem with the wheel in April and have been constantly taking it back every since the first repair was done.

- St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #9

Mar 312009


  • 78,000 miles


Hello on 3/31/09 my 2001 Pontiac Montana caught on fire while driving on I-88 highway with 60 miles per hour. The smoke filled the car and fire was shooting up at the back window while driving this vehicle. Apparently an electrical shortage at the windshield viper has started the fire.

- Naperville, IL, USA

problem #8

Apr 012008

Montana 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,903 miles
The vehicle had an electrical system failure and burst into flames. The vehicle was parked at 7:30 am on March 31, 2008. At 12:50 am on April 1,2008 the horn started blaring and there were flames coming from the dash. The police and fire department said they think that a relay in the dash shorted out and caught fire. This could have happened with people in the vehicle....

- Bicknell, IN, USA

problem #7

Mar 152006

Montana 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,079 miles
Our service engine light came on and also the "change oil", light won't turn off. After, a year of seeing this on (yes, we have our oil changed.) it has become annoying seeing this on all the time. The "ABS" light won't turn off as well. (nothing wrong) we have the mileage reading in kilometers, which we cannot change back. We're having problems with this and had this serviced by our mechanic. Still the problem hasn't vanished from our panel. The thermostat temp. Gauge on the panel wasn't increasing while driving or parked and still running ( on 0 ) and service engine light came on for that.had obd reading on that, it read we had to change our thermostat. Several days later, the temp. Began to work properly again. The "service light" went away. We disconnected battery four times and still having problems. Is there an electrical problem? same with the window switches, too.

- Port Charlotte, FL, USA

problem #6

Mar 022006

Montana 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


Power sliding doors open at any given time, whether at slow speeds, or high speeds. Electrical problems with horn, and lights operating intermittently. This is happening on a 2001 Pontiac Montana van, purchased new in 2001. Sliding door problem definitely constitutes a major liability, in as much as a person can fall out when the door opens.

- Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #5

Jun 022005

Montana 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,162 miles
The air conditioner did not work when we turned it on this summer. We took it in to be looked at and paid $72 for them to tell us that the condensor was shot and needed to be replaced. The cost was estimated to be $950 and after it was actually replaced it cost us $880. I am very disappointed that this part is defective and so costly.

- Gaylord, MI, USA

problem #4

Jan 012005

Montana 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
The vehicle's traction control light illuminated on the dash intermittently. The traction control system needed to be repaired.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #3

Jan 232001

Montana 6-cyl

  • 500 miles
The vehicle alarm would sound intermittently throughout the day and night. The dealer had examined the vehicle four times trying to find the problem. The vehicle's headlights also came on by themselves. The consumer is concerned that the vehicle may catch on fire. The dealer installed an alarm module but the problem recurred. The consumer contacted the manufacturer but they were unable to offer any assistance.

- Harts, WV, USA

problem #2

Mar 052004

Montana 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles
Electrical system is malfunctioning. Rear windows half open and will not close. Front windows will open, but will not close. Lights (internal and external) will flicker if I turn on the radio, windshield wipers, raise or lower windows. Locks will engage and disengage on their own over and over again, even if the vehicle is at rest. Brakes are constantly going bad. I have had to get the brakes fixed 4 times in the past 18 months. A/C is not working. No cold air comes out, only heat.

- N Richland Hills, TX, USA

problem #1

Feb 232004

(reported on)


  • 3,060 miles
Gas leaking under the driver seat and under the hood. Also, gas was pouring out from the motor. The window failed to open, the consumer is currently waiting on a new motor. The rear brakes were leaking, the tie rods had to be replaced because they were loose, the left rear stuck became stuck, when the gear was taken out of park and placed into drive and the consumer proceeded to accelerate the vehicle jerked, the engine light illuminated, the dealer determined the emission system was dragging, the driver side mirror vibrated, the bumper cover was loose. When the consumer attempted to turn the key in the ignition, the vehicle did not start, the dealer was unable to duplicate the consumer's concern. The fuel pressure regulator was leaking and the fuel filter was replaced. The vehicle would not go over 10 mph, the vehicle shifted and then returned to normal speed. The plastic on the drivers seat was loose.

- Morgan City, LA, USA

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