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Bryan
Hagerty Employee

C8 Corvette frunks are popping open on the road, and Chevy has an idea why

There’s nothing more challenging than change, and for Corvette disciples, no change to America’s sports car has been greater than the move to a mid-engine platform. As they rack up the miles, many Corvette owners find themselves wondering whether the the mid-engine platform means that everything operates differently—including, it appears, the front trunk. The frunk, as it’s better known, has become something of a sticking point in NHTSA complaints for the new C8 Corvette, with owners reporting that the frunks are blowing open while driving. The common theme is that the owner was driving down the roads at a “prudent” pace, usually on surface streets and not on freeways, when the frunk popped open shortly after departure.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com:

https://www.hagerty.com/media/news/c8-corvette-frunks-are-popping-open-on-the-road-and-chevy-has-an-...

26 REPLIES 26
Biebs
Passenger

More Money than Brains!!  Check your Car before Driving!!!

spoom
Instructor

Seriously? How many of us check to see if the hood is latched every time we get in our cars? 

MeJ
Pit Crew

I can't imagine the engineering team that built this incredible machine would overlook something like this. I would have to chalk it up to user error.

CJinSD
Detailer

I'm guessing that pressure to make the C8 hit a price point meant that several cents were shaved from the minimum viable cost of a plethora of components. 

JimR
Advanced Driver

Yeah...they failed to make closing the trunk idiot-proof and a “plethora” of mouth-breathers apparently have bought the car now....making the issue known. And like those who can’t tell when their tires are flat, they’ll get another idiot-light. 

8TY4SPD_MNL13GS
Pit Crew

As the old Corvette adage goes......never purchase the first year of a new Generation!

DSmith
Passenger

Excuse me, but what is a "Frunks" ?

8TY4SPD_MNL13GS
Pit Crew

A Front Trunk, referring to the C8s front storage space.

Bill
Intermediate Driver

oh yeah, blame the driver like none of us ever learned to close a hood either. GM living up to its reputation. Like Ford blaming Pinto owners for gas tank explosions, oh yeah Ford never did that

 

JimR
Advanced Driver

Unless the latch is faulty in someway, yes, absolutely blame the driver. Your comparison to the Pinto is false. And yes...apparently there are SOME who didn’t learn to close a hood.

I believe in personal responsibility. It’s a hood...or a “frunk”.  Close it. Done. Now go drive.

spoom
Instructor

Maybe they should have gone with a front-hinged frunk lid if nobody knew how to design a positive latch? There's a lot of other vehicles out there (Chevy and others) whose "front covers" aren't blowing open, hard for me to blame the drivers on this one.

JimR
Advanced Driver

In the article there’s nothing wrong with the latch, owners just aren’t closing them. User error. Why is it hard to blame them? 

But I agree that unless other design limitations exist, a front hinged ‘frunk’ would solve the issue. 

spoom
Instructor

Maybe I missed the part in the article where it says this is only happening when the owner opened and closed the frunk lid before driving off? I'm not excusing the drivers, only saying there's a design problem if these things can look latched when they're not, and the car has no failsafe and monitor. Heck, I've got cars that pull down and latch their own trunk lids, and hoods that yell at me if they're not latched when I start the engine. GM just tried to save a few too many pennies, but that always costs more in the long run.

JimR
Advanced Driver

Edit

JimR
Advanced Driver

“despite the owners’ claims, the Corvette does indeed have a secondary safety latch for the frunk, which makes an audible double click when secured—all the evidence points to user error”

 

I guess GM assumes...wrongly it seems, that owners are physically able, and personally responsible enough to properly close the frunk. Adding a motor is a nice convenience on an SUV or mom’s sedan but adds weight. Something that is typically avoided whenever possible on a sports car.
It’s not at all hard to blame the owners imo. 

spoom
Instructor

Why is is so hard to believe that GM didn't do a very good job designing so groundbreaking and complicated a concept as a rear-hinged, forward-placed hatch opening? Was this a common problem with the Yugo, or are we to believe Yugo owners are/were simply more intelligent, with better hood-closing skills than the average C8 owner? 

JimR
Advanced Driver

While it may come to pass in subsequent production, it shouldn’t be hard to understand that designing the frunk with a front hinge may not be that simple. It would require a different hinge design, adding different reinforcements. Those would likely require relocating other components which then cascades into a multitude of more component  relocations. Probably require a different frunk design...at least how it’s reinforced..and that can lead to a change in body lines and crash-worthiness...along with a different latch design. And then there are considerations for ease of assembly/maintenance. And don’t forget weight considerations. Finally cost. GM had a price point and trying to keep it there may have required they use a latch design that was already proven from other models. 

And finally, why is taking some responsibility to properly close a frunk such a difficult concept? But blaming a failure to do so on the car so easy? 

NewtyNewt
Navigator

GM engineers failed to hinge the FRUNK at the front which would have prevented the unexpected opening. Now a recall. https://www.automobilemag.com/news/2020-chevrolet-c8-corvette-recall-frunk-stop-deliveries/?wc_mid=4...

JimR
Advanced Driver

From the linked article:  “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.“

^Yep, sounds like a recall to accommodate the lowest and apparent too common denominator...THE OWNER! Not an engineering failure. Boy I sure hope that new “idiot light” is nice and bright. 

JimR
Advanced Driver

If GM moves the hinge to the front I wonder who owners will blame when they scratch and ding the top of the fenders putting things in and taking things out of the frunk.  
Maybe they need to add another warning light. 🤔

spoom
Instructor

Jim, maybe they should have set the price point $50 higher, or re-used Corvair tooling? 

JimR
Advanced Driver

The Corvair latch is a fun thought...but probably wouldn’t pass a NHTSA testing. 🤔

spoom
Instructor

I figure the second GM told them it was a Corvair latch, the NHTSA folks would spend all their time trying to roll it over and forget all about the actual latching properties. Or they could even pitch a 3 lb. self-latching option in CA as a Green New Deal concept latch, as the C8 would get better fuel mileage with the slightly heavier latch than with the frunk lid flipped up against the windshield like a giant sail. 😉
JimR
Advanced Driver

GM might recover costs for moving the hinges by running a clear bra all the way up the top of the fenders to keep the same careless owners from dinging the paint with a wine bottle bag and glasses.  Maybe use an old man trigger-word by calling  it a “clear corset”  to really run the price up. 

exford
New Driver

I'll wait until late in the 2022 model year before making the decision on a new Vette. I love my 2019 Grand Sport.IMG_1328.jpg

spoom
Instructor

Jim, you had me at, "clear bra". 😜