Safety regulators for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are reviewing a formal request from a North Carolina consumer group for a probe into almost 518,000 Ford vehicles with headlight or exterior lighting issues in the United States.
The North Carolina Consumers Council requested an investigation into approximately 517,945 Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis sedans released for the 2003 through 2005 model year, according to Reuters.
Previously, the safety administration had opened an investigation into the problem back in Nov. 2008, but they closed the probe in Mar. 2009 after determining there was no defect.
"The petitioner notes that Ford recently extended the subject vehicle warranty for this part to 15 years or 250,000 miles, states that service replacement parts were not readily available for warranty repairs at the time of the petition submission and requests that a new defect investigation be opened," NHTSA said in its summary of the probe.
Ford announced in a statement on Monday that they will "cooperate" with the NHTSA probe completely, according to the Associated Press.
The North Carolina Consumers Council has received 604 consumer complaints and seven crashes have occurred due to the problem. It also claims Ford dealerships are not carrying replacement parts anymore even though the Detroit automaker extended the warranty on the vehicle's lighting controls modules to 15 years, or 250,000 miles, in 2014.
A probe is the first step in a process that could eventually result in a recall if NHTSA regulators determine that the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker needs to address an issue with its vehicles.
A formal recall has not been announced by Ford yet, but you can contact your local dealership if you think there is a problem with your vehicle.