Chevy Corvette C8 Owners Are Reporting Front Trunk Lids Flying Open While Driving
First-year production hiccups, or signs of a bigger problem?
The 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 brought a lot of firsts to the nameplate—the mid-engine layout, a standard 0-60 mph time under three seconds, a dual-clutch transmission and more. Its magic mid-rear setup also means it's the first with a front trunk where the engine used to live. Unfortunately, multiple reports of frunk lids popping open while driving have begun to swirl on forums, social media, and the NHTSA's official consumer complaints site for the car.
Corvette Blogger highlighted the two NHTSA complaints last week, both of which date from April. Both drivers report the front trunk lid flying open at lower speeds, in one case around 30 mph, with the force damaging the hinges, fender edges and paint. Of course, there'd be a lot more damage if that hood latch let go on the highway, or on some sort of twisty road where a sudden loss of visibility could be catastrophic.
Two complaints out of the thousands of C8 Corvettes sold so far might not sound like much, but of course those are just the two owners who took the time to report the incident to the NHTSA. A quick trip to places like Corvette Forum, Mid-Engine Corvette Forum, and YouTube show that more stories of faulty front trunk lid latches are starting to swirl around as more first-year models hit the road.
These reports are all pretty uniform—C8 drivers cruising down the road and low or moderate speeds when the front trunk lid flies up without warning, or with just a split second of the usual chime and dashboard warning indicator. Also mostly uniform has been Chevy dealers' response in saying that the accidental releases must be user error, which drivers generally deny.
GM engineers designed the frunk lid to have three separate positions: fully open, fully closed with a mechanical latch and partially open but still secured with a secondary latch (this is to accommodate a battery charging cable during storage, and fully closed with a second latch. Built-in safeties are supposed to ensure that it will not open if drivers accidentally press the release buttons on the key fob or in the cabin while the C8 is in gear. However, doing so when it's in Park will open both latches to allow the lid to be easily lifted by hand, leading some owners to speculate that electronic interference could be a culprit.
The C8 also alerts drivers if the lid is ajar or open at any given time, as with most modern vehicles, and further limits its top speed to 83 mph if it senses the lid is in the partially-open position. There is an emergency release button within the frunk for wayward children, but on the off chance that a piece of cargo somehow hit it, the lid is supposed to catch on that secondary latch if the car is traveling above 3 mph.
It's hard to say whether this is a rare phenomenon that can be chalked up to first-year production hiccups or indicative of a larger issue. We've reached out to Chevrolet for comment, and we'll update if we hear back.
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