NHTSA upgrades Corvette probe to engineering analysis

Article by Anita Panait, on August 29, 2013

The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is upgrading a probe into 103,374 Chevrolet Corvettes (model years 2005-2007) to an engineering analysis after receiving 95 complaints and reports from consumers claiming both low-beam headlights of the vehicles unexpectedly shut off after driving for just five to 30 minutes.

US auto safety regulators started a preliminary investigation in May 2013 after receiving 30 reports of the issue. NHTSA said it also has received four reports of the same issue in 2008 Corvettes.

General Motors told NHTSA that the loss of headlights is caused by “a fractured low beam circuit wire in the underhood bussed electrical center” or (UBEC), an electrical assembly that is similar to a fuse box, that is placed in a high heat area near the engine.

GM said that the low beam circuit wire routing within the UBEC makes it prone to “cyclical stress caused by thermal expansion.

In one of the reports, a driver lost control of a Corvette after approaching a sharp curve at night, causing the vehicle to dip off the road.

Other complaints said the intermittent and that the low-beam headlight use returned.  According to NHTSA, there have been no reports of injuries or deaths related to the defect. Based on the result of the engineering analysis, NHTSA may either request for a recall or just move to close the investigation.

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