Skip to main content

Article Highlights:

  • The Chevrolet Corvette has a leaky transmission
  • Will the leaky gearbox hit the Corvette Z06 too?
  • A recall for busted units isn’t out of the question

First-year cars are often problematic. Chevrolet is no exception to that rule. Unfortunately, the Chevrolet Corvette appears to be suffering well beyond its first year. Recently, the GM-owned brand reached out to the NHTSA to notify them of an issue with the C8’s transmission. More specifically, a leaking issue that could lead to a recall.

Why would a transmission be leaking fluid?

An orange Chevrolet Corvette shot from the front 3/4 at sunset
The 2023 Corvette Z06 | Chevrolet

The Corvette has had complaints before, but this is far and away the most concerning. GM told the NHTSA that the Chevrolet Corvette’s “M1L” transmission is a little leaky. However, in the brand’s defense, the issue is something that might be a little hard to forsee. Debris is reportedly accumulating on the park position sensor magnet, which in turn is causing the trasmission’s sensors to read incorrectly.

Apparently, this means debris is then making its way into the transmission filter, gumming things up. Hence the leak. If all that sounds complicated, that’s because the Chevrolet Corvette’s transmission is. The dual-clutch transaxle transmission shifts gears faster than we can think, and per GM, in less than 100 milliseconds. Any faults in something so tightly wound creates a butterfly effect, affecting the whole unit. And you know what that means. Recalls.

GM could have to recall already scarce Corvettes

An orange and red pair of Corvette Z06 models shot from the high 3/4
The new Z06 is already facing a surge in demand | Chevrolet

We could be looking down the barrel of a Corvette recall. It’s not good news, given the scarcity of C8-gen ‘Vettes. Anyone who wants one is willing to pay over MSRP for one, and a frustrating recall could only add fuel to the fire. To say the least, the C8 Corvette is easily the most in-demand Corvette of all time. At the best, this is a simple sensor replacement, but at worst we’re looking at the transmissions being taken out of Corvettes.

More concerning is the affect of this on the new Corvette Z06. According to GM, the new Z06 uses the exact same “M1L” dual-clutch transmission as the base C8. Could this mean a Z06 recall in addition to the base Chevrolet Corvette? Possibly, but thankfully the new C8 Z06 isn’t in production just yet. A handful of units have been built for the media circus, but as far as we know no production Z06 models have been built just yet.

Leaky or not, the Chevrolet Corvette is a hot commodity

A trio of Chevrolet Corvette models shot at sunset
The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 lineup | Chevrolet

Frankly, it’s not as if this will have any impact on demand for the Chevrolet Corvette. We’ve been waiting for a new mid-engined ‘Vette since forever. Now that it’s here the market is clamoring for the American Ferrari-killer. That’s even more true with the arrival of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Unless this potential recall is a massive ordeal, demand for new models will continue to pour in, likely as quickly as transmission fluid pours out.


Is the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Really “Tantalizingly Attainable?”