Even Ferraris can be repaired wherever the owner wants it to be. But the new C8 Corvette? According to the GM TechLink site, Chevy won’t sell any structural components for the C8. If you want your Corvette repaired it must be through the GM certified repair network. Structural parts are put on a restriction list that limits who can purchase them. So in effect, Chevy forbids C8 Corvette repairs outside of its network.
It’s a mystery why Chevy forbids C8 repairs outside of its network
We get that the C8 Corvette structure is complex. It is a combination of aluminum stampings, carbon fiber, and fiberglass. But most all collision shops around the country have dealt with these materials in the course of a normal day. The special adhesives, fasteners, hardware, and tools to put a car as close as possible to the way it was are everyday practices.
At the end of 2018, GM advertised it had under 1,000 certified collision centers in the US. Statistical sites are in agreement that there are roughly over six million car accidents a year. There are approximately 38,000 collision repair shops in the US. Doing the math, if you wreck your C8 and need structural repairs you’ll be at a distinct advantage. Especially if you live in Kansas. Or places like Iowa or Hawaii or, well, you get the picture.
“Non-certified shops will not be permitted to receive the restricted structural part numbers”
Here’s the statement about C8 Corvette restrictions from the GM TechLink site: “Structural repairs must be made by certified GM Collision Repair Network (CRN) or Cadillac Aluminum Repair Network (CARN) shops. Non-certified shops will not be permitted to receive the restricted structural part numbers from a GM dealership. The majority of the structural frame components for the C8 Corvette will be put on parts restriction.”
We’re not going to fight GM over this. There are better pursuits to pursue. But it seems like bad business to dictate where you can have a Corvette repaired. If your Corvette is sent to the repair shop of your choice and they can’t get the parts what do you think will happen?
In that case, either the shop will bang out the damaged part the best it can or it will have to fabricate a new part. With either of these two scenarios, the owner gets screwed. Either the repair will be less than the best it can be, or it will cost much more from hand fabrication. Is that what Chevy really wants?
C8 Corvette repairs should not be an exotic adventure
We know that Chevy is proud of its baby and rightfully so. It just seems rather rigid and petty to restrict component sales. That is supposed to be one of the advantages of purchasing a Chevy. The parts and costs to make repairs are not exotic adventures. A C8 Corvette is not a Ferrari or Lamborghini. It is a mass-produced sports car by Chevy. Not Aston Martin.
Our hope is that Chevy will lighten up and drop the restrictions. On the surface, it just looks like a money grab for GM to vacuum up a few more dollars. Chevy has created an exceptional car. Make ownership exceptional too.