The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Has a Frunk Problem
At this point is anyone surprised that GM’s latest and greatest has problems?by Robert Moore, on
Back in May we brought you a fun little tidbit about how the C8 Corvette’s frunk acts as a speed limiter. Well, that was a fun twist, but the idea is that if the frunk isn’t securely latched, there are visual and audible warnings inside and the car’s speed is limited to 82 mph. Now, complaints are starting to show up in forums and directly to the NSHTA with claims that the C8 Corvette’s frunk is randomly opening at speed, blocking the view of the driver, damaging the vehicle, and — obviously – creating a very dangerous scenario.
The Unintentional Frunk Opening Could Lead to a Major Recall
C8 Corvette owners aren’t like Tesla Owners – they aren’t quick to jump on the “my car sucks” or “blame the automaker for my mistake” bandwagons. That doesn’t mean the C8 Vette has been without complaints. So far, they have ranged from ergonomic problems to the car locking itself while the keys are inside. We’ve even seen evidence of rather noticeable imperfections on the dashboard and seat stitching. The latest complaints of the frunk opening while driving down the road, though, is something of a different nature.
There are at least two filed complaints about this with the NHTSA, one dated on April 11, 2020 and one dated on April 30, 2020. In both incidents, the frunk cover opened and blocked the view of the driver.
Right away, one would logically think that someone simply forgot to latch the frunk – it’s not unlikely that this could happen, even to two people within a two week period. But, as you’ll recall from our previous coverage, the C8 Corvette will display a red warning and an audible alert to let you know that the frunk isn’t properly latched. Furthermore, if you’re traveling at speed and hit the release button, it simply won’t work. We’ve seen arguments that something in the frunk may have shifted and hit the button, but again, the secondary latch would have caught the frunk and enabled the driver alert.
From the first NHTSA complaint:
WHILE DRIVING THE 2020 CORVETTE AT A LOW SPEED, THE FRONT HOOD FLEW OPEN AND IMPAIRED MY VISIBILITY. THIS IS CHEVROLET’S FIRST ATTEMPT AT A MID-ENGINE CAR. SO THE FRONT HOOD IS ACTUALLY A TRUCK [sic]. THEY FAILED TO ENGINEER THE APPROPRIATE SAFETY LATCH FEATURES INTO THE HOOD THAT WOULD PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING. HOODS ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A SECONDARY LATCH THAT MUST BE PHYSICALLY OPERATED TO OPEN COMPLETELY.
From the second NHTSA complaint:
THE 2020 CHEVROLET CORVETTE IS TRULY A UNIQUE LOOKING AUTOMOBILE AND IT ATTRACTS ATTENTION EVERYWHERE YOU GO. ALMOST EVERYBODY WANTS TO LOOK AT IT. ON 04/30/2020, I WAS AT A LOCAL SHOPPING CENTER AND SEVERAL PEOPLE WERE ADMIRING THE CAR AND LOOKING AT IT. THE VEHICLE WAS SITTING STATIONARY IN A PARKING SPACE, THE ENGINE WAS RUNNING AND THE VEHICLE WAS IN PARK. WHEN THE PEOPLE HAD FINISHED ADMIRING THE CAR, I GOT INTO IT AND PROCEEDED TO THE EXIT. FROM THE EXIT, I TURNED ONTO THE MAIN ROAD (A US DESIGNATED HWY) AND ACCELERATED. WHEN I REACHED A SPEED OF APPROXIMATELY 25 TO 30 MPH, THE FRONT HOOD (ALSO CALLED A FRUNK), FLEW UP AND COMPLETELY BLOCKED MY VISION OF THE ROADWAY. I WAS ABLE TO SUCCESSFULLY BRAKE AND PULL TO THE SHOULDER OF THE HIGHWAY WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT.
THE “FRUNK” HOOD COMPLETELY BLOCKED MY VISION OF THE ROADWAY AND DAMAGE WAS DONE TO THE HINGES, HOOD AND FENDER ON THE DRIVER’S SIDE.
There’s also an instance of the same thing happening to a member of the Mid Engine Corvette Forum, who also seems to have experienced a similar situation at around 30 mph.
The truth is that it’s difficult for a driver to NOT know that the frunk is open, and Corvette Blogger’s very own Jeremy Welborn did his own test on a 2020 C8 Corvette:
For now, it seems as if complaints are somewhat limited, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it boils down to a fault in the build process for early models. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see, but perhaps its time to be a little extra vigilant if you’re a C8 Corvette owner.
|Engine||LT2, 6.2-liter, n/a V-8, mid-mounted|
|Power||490 hp, 495 hp w/ the Z51 pack|
|Torque||465 lb-ft, 470 lb-ft w/ the Z51 pack|
|0-60 mph||2.9 s|
|Top speed||194 mph|