Now, what’s going on with the mid-engine Corvette? Forums show complaints ranging from uneven seams in the 2020 Corvette’s upholstery to poor quality paint and even interior fasteners sticking into doors. But this latest issue is by far the worst. And most dangerous. Customers are complaining that 2020 Corvette frunks are opening spontaneously on roads and highways. There’s even video of it happening.
We know this is the first Corvette with a frunk or front-trunk. But the latching mechanism shouldn’t have been rocket science for GM engineers, right? All past Corvettes had engines in front and the hoods opened at the windshield. There was virtually no way the hood could pop up while driving those older Corvettes.
Now the Corvette forums are starting to light up over multiple customers complaining about the issue. The hoods release spontaneously and fly up blocking the driver’s vision. That’s plainly what happened in the video. As of now only two complaints have landed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the problem.
From the April 11 NHTSA complaint filing here’s how the owner described what happened:
“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 the truck. 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.”
Another complaint was filed on April 30 with this description:
“I was at a local shopping center and several people were admiring the car 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 25-30 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.”
In early June this description popped up on a Corvette forum:
“Well, now it’s happened to me. Left home and going quite slowly – 50 klicks max (30 MPH) and the hood flew up. Quickly pulled over and closed it. On getting back home I see all kinds of misalignment with some interference between the edge of the hood and fender that’s left a ding in the edge of the hood. I’ve shimmed and adjusted as best I could to improve things, but still not great. Don’t know how it happened to be open, I never leave it open. Not conscious of any warning, although I could have missed the DIC warning I suppose. This thing needs a loud audible warning. The present system isn’t good enough. I now understand there should have been an audible warning, but it’s not functioning on my car.”
With the car in Drive, the electronics system won’t allow the hood to open
The frunk has three positions: fully opened, fully latched, and partially latched to allow for jumper cables if the battery needs charging. In the open or partially latched positions, a red warning appears on the DIC plus an audio alert if put in Drive. With the car in Drive, the electronics system won’t allow the hood to open if someone pushes the fob or release button.
Another forum member this has happened to says the dealer would not fix the damage under warranty. It claimed it was the driver’s fault. Since this is not an isolated case we hope this customer receives compensation from the dealer once this issue is fleshed out.
It’s just another day in Paradise and another problem for mid-engine Corvette owners.