DETROIT Safety regulators are investigating an estimated 550,000 Pontiac G6 cars because the brake lights may malfunction, raising the chances of an accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had received 212 consumer complaints alleging the brake lights do not operate properly on model-year 2005 through 2009 G6s, echoing similar complaints that led to a recall several years ago. The NHTSA has opened the investigation only into cars from model years 2005 through 2008, however.
Pontiac is a former brand of General Motors Co.
Consumers say the brake lights on the cars illuminate when the brake pedal has not been depressed or do not illuminate when the pedal has been depressed, according to documents filed with NHTSA. In addition, consumers complain the car's cruise control may not engage or will disengage unintentionally.
A GM spokesman said the U.S. automaker is cooperating with NHTSA in the investigation.
In September 2008, NHTSA said it had opened a similar investigation into allegations of brake light malfunctions on model-year 2005 through 2007 G6 cars, resulting in the recall of 8,012 of the vehicles from model years 2005 and 2006.
NHTSA said it had opened the latest probe to further analyze the scope, frequency and consequence of the alleged problem.
(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)