Drivers of 2020 Chevy mid-engine Corvettes should remain vigilant for warning lights and chimes indicating the hood of the car is not fully latched to avoid the hood from flying open while driving. General Motors (GM) is preparing a safety recall to fix the problem.
Chevrolet and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have received complaints from drivers about the hoods suddenly flying open on the road. The hood of the Corvette is technically the trunk, which is why Corvette drivers call it the “frunk.” If the hood or the frunk becomes fully unlatched it could lead to a terrifying situation in which the driver is suddenly on a highway or busy street with a completely obstructed windshield.
Information General Motors released about the problem suggests that the hoods flying open are the fault of the drivers because they fail to close the hood correctly or they accidentally press the hood unlock button on the key fob while driving.
Either way, a configuration that so easily lends itself to an accident because of a simple driver oversight or mistake is a defect.
If the hood is not properly latched, drivers should hear a warning chime and notice the hood-ajar icon illuminated. If this happens, the vehicle’s speed will be limited to 82 mph. However, GM is developing a software fix that will limit the Corvette’s speed to 26 mph if the frunk is not properly shut.
The car’s driver information center (DIC) will display an alert that the speed is restricted to 26 mph and the vehicle will continuously chime at speeds above 3 mph until the hood is closed all the way.
GM will also take the additional measure of changing the key fob to prevent the driver or other vehicle occupant from unlatching the hood while the car is in motion.
The automaker will start notifying owners of the affected Corvettes about the recall soon. Chevy dealers are aware of the coming recall and have been told not to deliver any new 2020 Corvettes until the defect has been fixed.
Owners who have accepted applicable terms and conditions will have the opportunity to accept these software changes using wireless over-the-air (OTA) technology without having to bring their vehicle to a dealership. Alternatively, owners may schedule service at a GM dealer to receive these software updates.
This is the second recall affecting the front trunk of the 2020 Chevy Corvette. GM is also repairing the vehicles to correct the interior trunk release, which may fail to work when the car enters the low-power “sleep” mode 10 minutes after powering off.
Federal regulations require the trunk compartment to function when the vehicle is in sleep mode. Should the interior trunk latch fail to operate, a child or small person could become trapped inside the trunk.
GM will update the software in the vehicles’ Body Control Module (BCM) to lower the voltage required to wake the vehicle from sleep mode. This will allow the interior trunk release button to function while the vehicle is in that mode.
As with the hood latch recall, GM is repairing the vehicles remotely with a software update.