The Chevrolet Corvette is a beloved favorite of thrill-seeking Baby Boomers who have had a lifetime love affair with the car first introduced in 1953, but drivers of more than 100,000 of the sixth-generation Corvette might want to be careful driving at night -- at least for now.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into 30 reports of a sudden loss of low-beam headlight power to the Corvette and the Corvette Z06 coupe manufactured between 2005 and 2007. The agency estimates that 103,374 vehicles could be affected.
According to a statement from the country’s traffic safety regulator: “In one of the 30 reports, a driver allegedly ran over a discarded tire while attempting to pull off the road. Some complainants reported that the problem is intermittent, and some reported that low-beam headlight functionality returns after a period of time, typically after the vehicle has been parked.”
Oddly enough, the sports car’s fog lights and high beams aren’t affected by the alleged glitch, but of course tooling around with your brights on means a different safety issue: blinding other drivers.
One of the complaints submitted to the traffic safety watchdog on Saturday by an owner of the vehicle suggests the source of the problem: “I later determined that the intermittent connection is circuit No. 1970, within the main fuse/relay back plane itself. The circuit opens at operating temperatures but works when the car fuse box is cold, making diagnoses more difficult. The backplane cannot be serviced and must be replaced.”
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In other words, the engine-savvy car owner says, when the fusebox heats up due to its proximity to the engine heat source, the low-beam headlights shut down, but at resting temperatures the problem is undetectable. Another complaint said mechanics quote the cost of repair at a huge range, between $600 and $1,200.
No accidents or fatalities have been reported. The preliminary investigation was launched on Monday and announced on the government agency’s website on Friday.
"GM is cooperating with the investigation," a representative from the vehicles manufacturer, General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM), wrote in an email to Automotive News.
Earlier this year, GM unveiled the seventh-generation 2014 Corvette C7. Deliveries of the much-anticipated new design are expected by the fall.