NHTSA — Electrical System Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
37,054 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 Montana electrical problems

electrical problem

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2003 Pontiac Montana Owner Comments

problem #11

Jul 202016


  • miles


Check the airbags something with brake light an electrical.

- West Allis,, WI, USA

problem #10

Jul 032014

Montana 6-cyl

  • 128,000 miles
We have to kept changing the brake lights in the back because they keep going out ever few weeks. We even went and bought a new stop signal switch but that wasn't it. We want to know if there was a recall on the brake light and the wiring and why they keep going out. We have had issues since we bought in June 2014. We are just tired of keep pouring money into it but I don't want an accident or to get pull over either. The only light that never has an issue is the brake bar on top.

- Muskegon, MI, USA

problem #9

Mar 262004

Montana 6-cyl

  • 3,400 miles
Steering wheel locked up, ignition did not disengage when key was released, incident becoming more and more frequent.

- Hendersonville, TN, USA

problem #8

Sep 012006


  • 80,000 miles


Brakes lights and head lights on my 2003 Pontiac Montana have been going out periodically for several years now. After replacing light housing, bulbs and other components, the brake lights continue to blow out. At one point we thought it was because of all of the moisture build up, so after my husband replaced the housing again, he drills holes in the bottom of the headlight covers to help drain moisture. That has seemed to help in one of the lights. The brake lights on the left side continue to go out about a day after every replacement. Most of the interior lighting has gone out as well and the suspension is terrible.

- Lake St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #7

Apr 012013

Montana 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles
Brake lights stopped working. Checked brake light bulbs and found that plastic lamp bases were melted so the terminals no longer made contact in the sockets. Searching the internet, I found this to be a common problem with these vehicles. This is a serious safety issue and these vehicles should be recalled and corrective action taken...updated 10/30/13 the consumer stated the right brake light burns out every 4-6 weeks. Updated 10/31/2013

- Lorton, VA, USA

problem #6

Mar 182010


  • 68,000 miles
We have owned the car since Oct 2005, purchased used from a Saturn dealership. Car was involved in a gas tank recall, however we were notified nearly two years after we had a rupture that dropped an entire tank of fuel on the driveway and were told we were lucky to be alive having driven unknowingly with this leak. Tank was replaced under extended auto warranty. Multiple electrical problems: Tail light goes out and is replaced, then driver headlight goes out. Water leaks inside drivers side headlight when it rains. The tail plug in for tail light bulb had gotten so hot it had melted the plug in both tail lights. Random electrical failure with windows and door locks occurring. Dash panel burned out, radio display bled out and radio then failed - would not turn off after button was pushed and had to be removed from the dashboard in order to avoid draining battery completely. Traction tire failure when engaged occurred in combination with power steering failure, cruise control failure, and on one occasion complete brake failure. No warning, no squealing, no grinding, no pulling to the side: Just complete brake failure that resulted in an auto accident that injured 3 people. Non dealership mechanic checked the brakes and determined brake fluid leak/master cylinder caused the failure, stated regulatory system for brake system most likely resulted in leak. Mechanic also discovered drivers side front brake had seized and scoured the router and pad on the inside of the wheel. Brakes had been replaced two years prior and car had not been driven but for once a month short trips to the doctor for one of those years, the second year it was driven only 3 or 4 times and was parked in the driveway. Auto accident in May 2010 due to brake failure did not have air bag deployment in rear end collision. Car was broadsided on the passengers side in 2007 at a higher rate of speed and air bags also did not deploy. Injuries in both accidents. Car is a death trap.

- Auburn, WA, USA

problem #5

Jul 102006

Montana 6-cyl

  • miles


Moisture in headlights, back bulbs constantly burn out, back windows often will not close.

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #4

Nov 232008


  • 32,000 miles
The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Montana. While driving approximately 5-10 mph, the vehicle stalled and lost all power. All of the power doors locked, which prevented the contact from exiting the vehicle. She moved into the back seat and was able to open the sliding door to exit the vehicle. The vehicle was towed to the dealer and they stated that the battery was dead. After further diagnostic testing, the dealer realized that the theft module was defective. As a result, the vehicle was unable to be started. The contact is concerned that the failure could occur while driving with children in the vehicle or a fire or crash could occur. The vehicle is currently at the dealer and they are replacing the battery and theft module. The current and failure mileages were 32,000.

- Davenport, IA, USA

problem #3

Mar 282004

Montana 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,898 miles
While driving my 2003 Montana stopped dead in traffice. The brakes lock and the steering wheel locked the vehical stopped dead with out any warning. It has stopped in traffic twice and a total of 7 time. Each time I took it back to the dealer they said that there was nothing wrong with the Montana. From vls 05/05/04.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #2

Mar 282004

Montana 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,898 miles
Montana keeps cutting off without a warning and it will stop dead in traffice with out a warning. This has happen a total of 7 times. The dealership keeps telling me that there is nothing wrong and that they can not find anything wrong with the 2003 Montana. I brought this Montana brand new last year 2003. There is a safty problem with this vehical. From vls..05/05/04.

- Stone Mountain, GA, USA

problem #1

Nov 012003

Montana 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 16,400 miles
2003 Pontiac Montana stalled while driving. The vehicle lost all power including steering and brakes. This has happened twice in the past 2 months. I drove the van to the dealership both times. No problems was found by dealership. I contacted Pontiac. They said if it happens again not to start it back up, they will have van towed to dealership. I am not totally satisfied with their response for safety reasons.

- Wellington, OH, USA

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