GM Stops Deliveries of 2020 C8 Corvettes, Issues Recall for “Flying Frunk” Issue
For now, owners can drive their C8 Corvettes with the front-trunk open at up to 82 mph.
General Motors has issued a "stop delivery" order to its dealers on "certain" 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette models both new and used, related to a recall for the car's "frunk" it is filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today (Aug. 19). The recall centers around a "flying frunk" issue, as the front trunk of the 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette has opened unexpectedly in several instances while the car is in motion. The results are potentially catastrophic, with blocked forward vision and undesirable aerodynamics, but we haven't heard of any instances of the flying-frunk recall issue causing a crash so far. The 2020 model-year Corvettes have been sold out for some time, but customers looking forward to taking delivery of their cars soon will now have to wait until an undetermined time to do so.
We were alerted to the C8's flying-frunk problem, and the recall, by corvetteblogger.com, a popular Corvette enthusiasts' forum in which several owners have reported their Corvette frunks opening while driving, mostly at low speed. It's still not entirely clear as to what causes the problem, but it appears the issue stems from owners not shutting the frunk properly or inadvertently opening it from inside the car. This YouTube video shows the problem occurring around the 24-second mark.
GM spokesman Kevin Kelly told Automobile, "GM's internal analysis indicates that the few reports of hood openings were related to drivers inadvertently pressing the hood release button on the keyfob while the vehicle was stopped and in park."
There is a warning system built into the car which is supposed to give the driver a visual and audible alert to warn them the front trunk isn't closed securely, and that speed is limited to 82 mph until the frunk is shut properly. GM wants to reduce that speed to 26 mph and modify the C8's keyfob to prevent accidental openings.
In an official statement, GM said:
"General Motors has decided to voluntarily recall certain 2020 model-year Chevrolet Corvette vehicles for a potential issue with the vehicle's front trunk lid.
"If drivers ignore the vehicle's visual and audible warnings that the front trunk lid is open, they can drive the vehicle in that condition at speed, which could increase the likelihood that the wind force is sufficient to inadvertently flip open the hood.
"GM is finalizing a software repair for the vehicles' Body Control Module (BCM) to limit vehicle speed to 26 mph when the hood is not completely closed and latched. The software update will also provide a driver information-center message indicating that the top speed is limited to 26 mph. In addition, the operation of the hood release on the keyfob will be modified to reduce the likelihood of inadvertent hood release actuations. The interior door-trim switch and release button located inside the front trunk compartment are also modified to require a longer press-time."
As for when the fix will be available, Kelly told Automobile, "In terms of timing for the software availability, our engineers are working around the clock to finalize the necessary software updates and we will release it to our dealers and customers as soon as possible."
Owners of affected 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette models will receive frunk recall notices beginning on Aug. 19, though a dealer with knowledge of the issue tells us the software update is not yet available, so no fixes are available to owners at this time. This echoes the contents of an official GM document, below:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Safety Recall N202311160 Drivers May Overlook Open Hood Alerts
These questions and answers are being provided to help GM dealers respond to inquiries from involved vehicle owners about the Safety recall identified above.
Q1) Which vehicles are involved?
A1) 2020 Chevrolet Corvette
Q2) What is the issue or condition?
A2) General Motors has decided that a defect which relates to motor vehicle safety exists in certain 2020 model-year Chevrolet Corvette vehicles. If drivers ignore the vehicle's visual and audible warnings that the front trunk lid is open, they can drive the vehicle in that condition at speed, which could increase the likelihood that the wind force is sufficient to inadvertently flip open the hood.
Q3) What symptoms may be experienced? What warning signs may be associated with the issue or condition described?
A3) When the hood is not completely closed and latched, the driver receives the following warnings and alerts:
- The hood-ajar icon on the instrument panel is illuminated and the driver information center (DIC) displays a message that the hood is open;
- An initial audible chime will sound once;
- When the vehicle is in drive and moving above 3 mph, a persistent chime plays; and,
- The DIC currently displays a message that indicates the vehicle speed is limited to 82 mph (this will be changed to 26 mph with the software remedy described below).
Q4) What is the remedy/repair?
A4) GM will soon update the software in the vehicles' Body Control Module (BCM) to limit vehicle speed to 26 mph when the hood is not completely closed and latched. The software update will also provide a DIC message indicating that the top speed is limited to 26 mph. In addition, the operation of the hood release on the key fob will be modified to reduce the likelihood of inadvertent hood release actuations. The interior door trim switch and release button located inside the front trunk compartment are also modified to require a longer press-time. Owners who have accepted applicable terms and conditions will have the opportunity to accept these software changes using wireless over-the-air (OTA) technology without having to bring their vehicle to a dealership. Alternatively, owners may schedule service at a GM dealer to receive these software updates.
Q5) What is the safety risk? Is the vehicle safe to drive?
A5) If the hood is open (i.e., the primary and secondary latches are not engaged) while driving at speed, the hood could flip open and obstruct the driver's forward view, increasing the risk of a crash.
Q6) Does the customer have to pay for this remedy/repair?
A6) No, this inspection/repair will be done at no cost to the customer.
Q7) Is the remedy/repair available now?
A7) No, when a remedy is available the recall bulletin will be released, and dealers can begin repairing vehicles. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Safety Recall N202311160 Drivers May Overlook Open Hood Alerts
Q8) What should customers do until recall repairs can be completed? Are there any special instructions?
A8) If special instructions are provided, they will be included in the notification letters to customers.
Q9) How can customers check to see if their vehicle is involved in this field action?
A9) Customers who own a vehicle involved in the field action will be notified by mail by General Motors, but they may also check their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for field actions in GM Owner Center at https://my.gm.com/recalls or via NHTSA's website at https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/.
Q10) If customers are concerned, can they get a rental car or courtesy transportation?
A10) Courtesy transportation is available for customers whose vehicles are involved in this recall and are within the warranty coverage period for the warranty which is associated with this recall. Please refer to Warranty Administration Bulletin #17-NA-073: Field Action Courtesy Transportation Policy for further information.