By on August 26, 2020

gm

Owners of the newly mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette might notice a new message greeting them this week, now that a solution to a recent recall concerning the 2020 C8 ‘Vette’s “frunk” appears to be underway.

C8 owners have complained of their front-end trunk’s (frunk’s) lid opening while on the road, leading to a dangerous situation as they attempt to pull over to close it. Just like a hood flying up on the highway, no one wants their frunk doing the same. TTAC’s Chris Tonn, currently ensconced in a bright yellow example, received the prescribed remedy last night.

The issue at the core of last week’s recall is that the car will still allow drivers to get on the freeway if the frunk isn’t securely latched. Audible and visual warnings alerting drivers of the possible danger were deemed lacking; as such, the C8’s advanced electrical infrastructure is now tasked with remedying the issue via an over-the-air software update.

The strategy is multi-pronged. GM claims it will make those warnings harder to ignore (an increase in volume and altered messaging, to be exact), but it also plans to limit the vehicle’s speed to 26 mph if the frunk lid isn’t securely latched, thus preventing an incident. Once the lid is closed properly, the road’s your baby.

Several alarming videos have appeared over the past month, with this one depicting the frunk lid flying up at 43 mph.

Another element of the OTA update is that drivers will have to press the frunk release button on their key fob, as well as the one inside the car itself, for a longer period of time for the unlatching to occur. A separate recall one week earlier concerned the possibility that, in some C8s, a person could become locked inside the front-end cargo cubby after the internal frunk-release button stops operating. In these cars, the vehicle enters “sleep mode” 10 minutes after engine shutoff, killing the functionality of that button.

You can imagine the potential harm that could come to the unlucky individual curled up inside the frunk. Again, it’s something that can be remedied via an OTA update.

In Chris’ C8, the following messages appeared over the past 12 hours:

Chris Tonn/TTAC

Chris Tonn/TTAC

It would seem Chris’ frunk is now safe, but is the car safe from his digital pen? Tune in for his upcoming review.

[Images: General Motors, Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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25 Comments on “C8 Corvette ‘Frunk’ Over-the-air Update Underway...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Only a secure hood latch is needed to keep the fruccknnk closed. Imagine buying a self-driving car from a company who can’t get a fifty-cent mechanism right, after 120 years in business.

  • avatar
    statikboy

    This begs 2 questions:

    Why do we need an electronic trunk? and

    Hasn’t this been solved by mandated 2-part hood release latches decades ago?

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-X

      Good point. The answer is because GM KissButt-A proposed it to GM EgoClownExec-B in a Powerpoint slide showing 500 more sales per year in an Excel spreadsheet. He/she hated himself/herself for doing it. Next, 100 smart and intuitive people in GM cannot prevent the mistake once that has happened. But don’t fear, when GM needs to make it’s Wall Street Financials, this fiasco will reverse, at a higher than original cost, under the Cost Savings Opportunities Initiative of 2022; someone may get promoted for that. Hopefully, nobody will be killed or injured in the mean time.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Pushing buttons is considered cool and upscale, while pulling physical levelers is so last year. I have a C7 and its doors use the same electrical / push button system. There is no handle or lever, just a button. There is an emergency lever inside the car in case the battery dies.

      The C8 frunk works like most modern cars that allow you to release a standard trunk via a button. However if the frunk comes up at speed the wind catches it and becomes a big problem. GM has claimed this is user error, IE: people are pushing the button on accident. So now the software is patched and requires you to hold the button longer.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        Agree, but: GM can claim ‘user error’ all they want, but it’s GM Error all over again.

        With any device to engineer, anticipating typical human errors is part of it. My power liftgate won’t open when the car is in gear.

        GM is famous for blaming everything and anything but themselves; what a sad bunch of clowns.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        Back in the 80s the Caravan had a button for the hatch and it would not work if the car was in gear. How hard is it to do the same safety system on cars in the 2020s?

    • 0 avatar
      anomaly149

      Customers demand an electric trunk, and electrification is mandatory for FMVSS401 compliance for rear hinged-front opening trunk lids. To meet 401, your electronic release must be capable of releasing both the primary and secondary latching mechanisms as defined in FMVSS113.

      It’s impossible to meet FMVSS401 purely mechanically, it’s virtually impossible electro-mechanically, and it’s merely “very difficult” purely electrically.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        Customers demand reliability and fairness from all parties too. But…

        “rear hinged-front opening trunk lids?” WTF! It’s just a hood. The hood latch doesn’t know what you have under it.

        • 0 avatar
          anomaly149

          If you read through FMVSS401 and go through all of the detailed implications of the requirement, then yes, the latching system does care what’s under it. Or rather, the design of the overall latching and releasing system must be very different based upon whether there is a qualifying luggage compartment or not under there.

          The supplemental materials NHTSA provides, like the response to comments from Ferrari and Porsche, can be helpful here.

          • 0 avatar
            Detroit-X

            That doesn’t matter. The hood of the Corvette, or Chevy Spark, or Yugo, must not fly up while driving. THAT is the expectation of the customer, and the duty of the manufacturer.

            FMVSS401 is irrelevant to this duty. Jeez.

  • avatar
    MiataReallyIsTheAnswer

    Aww GM thank you eversomuch for saving us from ourselves.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Definitely looking forward to the review. I ogled one of these at a Chevy dealer last week. I don’t care what the haters say – it looks awesome.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Saw my first one (and two) of these in Calgary last week. At first glance, it looked like a Corvette, but Not. Not generic-mid-engined-sports-car like in pictures and less in-your-face ugly than the C7. I’ve never been particularly partial to the Corvette styling other than the original Stingray, but it wasn’t bad.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      Totally agree on the looks.
      There was one on a platform last Dec at the Indy auto show
      All I heard were positive comments…people loved it.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @FreedMIke The C8’s are simply amazing. With that said; here’s a potential QOTD: “C-8 Chevy Corvette, Mercedes SL, or Lexus LC?” A quick use of my Google-fu showed they all cost about the same. Alternative answer: Jaguar F-type and ‘Muriccan full-size truck of your choice. The boat won’t haul itself.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m not going to say the C8 is history’s greatest monster. But it’s not not history’s greatest monster.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Maybe this bug is related to the new – but delayed – electrical architecture for the C8:

    https://gmauthority.com/blog/2019/05/gms-new-electrical-system-could-be-reason-for-mid-engine-corvette-c8-delay/

    But hey, I’ll bet the “mobility” features are flawless.

  • avatar
    someoldfool

    What’s this about someone getting trapped in the “frunk?” I thought the frunk was big enough to hold EITHER the roof panel OR a laptop case. If there was a serious electrical problem, why not move the hinges to the front? It’s not like someone will carry something large and awkward there.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      The targa roof fits in the back, aka the regular trunk. The frunk is pretty decent sized, but unless your kid-sized you ain’t fitting in there.

    • 0 avatar
      anomaly149

      The entrapment regulation (FMVSS401) applies to any compartment whose lid can be closed to any latching position with a 3-year-old crash test dummy shoved in there.

      The check is hilarious – shove an infant dummy in the compartment and try to force the panel shut. (they recommend removing the 6-figures worth of crash sensors prior to the check)

      For reference – Ram Boxes have interior entrapment releases.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “fob” is a word; “FOB” is an acronym. The thing you carry in your pocket which starts the vehicle, I’m pretty sure is a “fob”. The word is hundreds of years old. Not sure why GM capitalizes it. The Corvette owner’s manual refers to the RKE or “remote key” and never mentions “fob” – why the different language on the dash notification?

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