NHTSA — Exterior Lighting Problems


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,056 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 lights problems

lights problem

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2003 Pontiac Montana Owner Comments

problem #11

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 #10

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 #9

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 #8

Aug 282006


  • 77,000 miles


The contact owns a 2003 Pontiac Montana. The contact stated that moisture was accumulating in the headlights. The vehicle was taken to the dealer who referred him to the manufacturer. The manufacturer was contacted who advised the contact to replace the headlights with a newer model. The vehicle was repaired. The failure and current mileage was 77,000.

- Peachtree City , GA, USA

problem #7

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 #6

Jul 102006

Montana 6-cyl

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

- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

problem #5

Dec 132009


  • 50,000 miles


There has been a noticeable accumulation of water in the headlights of my 2003 Pontiac Montana. Only a matter of time before bulb shorts out. There has been some deterioration of illumination ability due to the water, particularly in the last year.

- Binghamton, NY, USA

problem #4

Oct 242009


  • 60,000 miles
Headlight lenses fill with moisture and blow bulbs out.

- Reading, PA, USA

problem #3

Nov 022009


  • 88,500 miles
Front headlight had lots of moisture on the interior, which caused the bulb to burn out. I needed to replace the entire headlight unit, a $240 part.

- Essex Juction, VT, USA

problem #2

Oct 052009


  • 94,000 miles
Head lights fill up with moisture and blows headlight bulbs out while driving.

- Somonauk, IL, USA

problem #1

Jul 142008


  • 42,119 miles
2003 Pontiac Montana minivan have had both front headlight units fill up with condensation effectively ruining the headlights. General Motors replaced the drivers side unit in 2006 as a "goodwill' gesture but now refuses to replace the passenger's side. This is a major safety issue which I understand has happened to a lot of other Pontiac minivans. These failures are not due to any external damage to the units but some defect is causing these units to fill with condensation and this creates a major safety issue by ruining the effectiveness of the headlights..

- Ashford, CT, USA

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