2020 Chevrolet Corvette Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Vehicle structure and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

There are few sports cars as exciting as the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. In fact, the automaker claims that “precision is our starting line,” indicating that this car has so much more to offer. Yet, customers are left wishing for more, between dealing with a defective structure and malfunctioning engine.

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NHTSA Complaints for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Structure:body
10
Engine
4
Service Brakes
3
Visibility/wiper
3
Suspension:front:shock Absorber
1
Fuel/propulsion System
1
Power Train
1
Exterior Lighting
1
Unknown Or Other
1

Problems with the Vehicle Structure

The Corvette is designed to turn heads and impress onlookers. However, the structure is what is most disappointing, with countless complaints about the same part.

Here is one from the NHTSA website. “While driving at 20-30 mph, the front hood released and the hood opened to a near vertical position. After stopping I closed the hood but it took a lot of effort. When closed the hood, now is recessed near the hinges and there is some paint damage to the edges of the hood and fenders. It appears that the hinges are damaged. I immediately took it to a dealer and they are to research the issue with Chevy engineering. The damage has been repaired under warranty. I am concerned that this may reoccur.”

It turns out that this is a massive problem, with a recall issued. NHTSA Campaign Number 20V461000 states that the release button in the front trunk might not work. If this happens and someone is in the trunk, they could become trapped inside. While it’s unclear why someone would be in the trunk in anything short of a kidnapping, this is a serious defect. However, the majority of customers find it impossible to keep the front trunk closed, which seems to be the opposite problem. For now, Corvette hoods are flapping in the wind, preventing the Chevy from even getting off the “starting line.”

Problems with the Engine

The Corvette is known for its powerful and potent powertrain. However, there seem to be some troubles with the engine itself.

Another NHTSA complaint states, “I tried to register the vehicle and cannot register the car. It fails smog. O2 sensor not ready. The battery has not been disconnected since its first mile driven.”

It turns out that Chevy isn’t oblivious to engine troubles. Service Bulletin #16NA383 talks about the need for a new fuel injection cleaner kit. This new product decarbonizes the intake valves to correct trouble with a rough idle, no start situation, misfiring and extended cranking. If there is a product required to fix these problems, there must have been something wrong with the system, to begin with. Why isn’t the company looking at putting a better system in? Why is Chevy only concerned with band-aiding the situation? Obviously, Chevy’s only focus is getting off the starting line, it isn’t about finishing the race.

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Complaint Data

CategorySuspension:front:shock Absorber
DateMar 14, 2023
StateFL
Description
2020 chevrolet corvette stingray. Consumer writes in regard to rusting shock tower housing.
CategoryEngine
DateApr 20, 2021
StateCA
Description
Car is equipped with remote start. On april 20th I parked in the garage, put groceries away including some that went in the fridge in the garage. The corvette keys were in my pocket. I set a timer for one hour for items I had put in the garage freezer to chill. When I went back at the one hour alarm, the vehicle was running in the closed garage. To use remote start the vehicle has to be locked first and I never lock the vehicle in a closed garage. Chance motion of those keys in my pocket had locked the vehicle and initiated remote engine start. I had just laid down to nap when the one hour alarm went off. I shudder to think what would have happened had I not used my alarm for those food items.
CategoryService Brakes
DateFeb 22, 2021
StateFL
Description
Gm refuses to replace the brake module despite the fact that this has been known since september 2020. The remedy "is incomplete"and parts are not yet available. It is ludicrous to assume that parts on a currently produced car are not available. They are installing this module daily. These are brakes that can fail and can cause an accident when they do fail.
CategoryEngine, Fuel/propulsion System
DateDec 30, 2020
StateVA
Description
There is a strong smell of gasoline in the trunk. The smell is stronger when the gas tank is recently filled or full.
CategoryService Brakes
DateDec 30, 2020
StateTX
Description
On september 24, 2020, chevrolet issued a recall for a possible contaminated brake booster module on numerous 2020 vehicles. This to me is a serious matter when it deals with the vehicles braking system. There have been customers online who have talked about this issue, with one customer stated that his brakes did fail and it was difficult for him to stop. I have made numerous calls to gm and no one could give me any accurate information. I have not been driving my new 2020 corvette very often because of fear of brake failure. I was told by a gm rep that if module did go out that your brakes would still work. He stated that you would just have to use more foot pressure on brakes. It has now been over 90 days and I am requesting that this issue get resolved for all new car owners who have this recall. Gm is too large of a company to let this just linger as if its no big deal.
CategoryPower Train
DateDec 29, 2020
StateCA
Description
At the time of incident the vehicle had 660 miles. Most of the accumulated miles are: 60% street and 40% hiway. I was inspecting the wheels and tire when I spotted a significant amount of grey/black colored grease randomly covering the inner wheel. Upon further inspection I noticed that the grease was splattered on the emergency brake unit, sensors and wiring harness. The grease was isolated to the rear passanger axle. I suspect that the grease came from a defective cv boot. Took vehicle in to checkout the problem and they determined the grease was from a defective cv boot. New axle was ordered.
CategoryService Brakes
DateNov 17, 2020
StateFL
Description
This complaint is a result of gm non action to their recall a202307260. It has been 2 months since the recall has been announced and parts or not available. Loss the the affected item (brake booster) severely impacts safety that could cause an accident resulting in severe injuries or death. Gm has parts -- they are building 180 units per day. There are under 700 - 2020 corvette cars affected by this recall. Gm is putting profit and sales ahead of safety. Nhtsa should require gm to immediately use production parts to remedy this issue and close this recall considering it is safety related.
CategoryEngine
DateOct 04, 2020
StateFL
Description
Received 2020 corvette on 9/15/20, on 9/24/20 went to use the car to do to doctor. The car started and then would not run. Had all kind of message; service engine, no oil pressure; traction control, had bad smell. Had to have flatbed tow truck get the car and take it to a chevrolet dealer. Car has broken valve springs. Car has been gone 10 days so far and do not have all of the valve springs to repair car. Car only has 115 miles on it. Luckily the car was in the garage when this happened.
CategoryStructure:body
DateSep 28, 2020
StateOH
Description
Front hood/trump flew open @ 20 mph when driving through neighborhood. Bent the latches, damaged the hood and quarter panel. Latch is flimsy and lacks better locking mechanism to protect it from opening.
CategoryVisibility/wiper
DateSep 17, 2020
StateAL
Description
The 2020 chevrolet corvette coupe with the 1lt trim package does not comply with the 20 degree minimum horizontal field of view requirement as outlined in us dot tp-111v-01. The interior rear view mirror is essentially useless given the small size of the rear hatch glass. Please note that the 1lt trim package does not include the camera augmented rear view mirror found in the 2lt and 3lt trim packages.
CategoryExterior Lighting
DateSep 09, 2020
StateIL
Description
The front driver side daytime driving light which is also the turn signal does not work. It hasn't worked for almost 3 months and chevy does not stock any headlights for this car. This has been going on for way too long and I don't think that their statement seems accurate about driving without the light/turn signal. Even though gm states it ok to drive I feel it's not that safe and have not driven it much these past 3 months. This is a new model and I know it's difficult to have all parts available for a new car but a headlight should be something that is in stock in their warehouse prior to shipping these cars to the public.
CategoryStructure:body
DateAug 12, 2020
StateGA
Description
While driving at 20-30 mph, the front hood released and the hood opened to a near vertical position. After stopping I closed the hood but it took a lot of effort. When closed the hood now is recessed near the hinges and there is some paint damage to the edges of the hood and fenders. It appears that the hinges are damaged. I immediately took it to a dealer and they are to research the issue with chevy engineering. The damage has been repaired under warranty. I am concerned that this may re-occure.
CategoryStructure:body
DateAug 06, 2020
StateFL
Description
The hood popped open while driving damaging the car. Fortunately there were no other cars around and I was able to safely pull over. I was driving at 43mph when the hood flew open blocking my vision and damaging the car. I have video of the incident from the performance data recorder in the car. The hood had not been opened at all the day this occurred and I had driven on multiple other roads including the highway without incident. The car had just over 1400 miles on it at the time of the incident.
CategoryEngine
DateAug 04, 2020
StateCA
Description
I tried to register the vehicle and cannot register the car. It fails smog. 02 sensor not ready. The battery has not been disconnected since it's first mile driven.
CategoryStructure:body, Visibility/wiper
DateAug 03, 2020
StateCA
Description
I just got my 2020 corvette delivered last week. I am the first owner of the car and today I was driving up pch towards malibu. Went up to 80-90 mph at times. Drove for about 100 miles. I stopped to get something to eat. Got back in my car and proceeded up the canyons for some spirited driving. The car is already broken in at 1300 miles. I decided to pull off the road to take some pictures of the car. I put the car in park with the parking brake on and left the engine running with the key fob in the cupholder. After I got the shots I wanted, I proceeded to drive down the canyon and within 15 seconds I heard the front hood latch click/thump (same sound you hear when you press the button to pop the hood) right before I saw the hood fly up and heard a snap. Sudden loss of visibility almost caused my car to go off the cliff as I couldn't see the turn. Luckily I was able to stop the car before going off the road. The hood did not hit my front windshield, but there is severe hinge damage as well as damage to both fenders and the front hood. I had my windows down and my roof off, did not have the radio on and it was quiet road. There were no warning lights that the hood latch was open/disengaged. Even when the hood flew up, there was no indicator light or beeping. I put the hood back down as carefully as I could. I had no choice but to try my best to close the hood since I was in an area with no reception in order to keep driving. In the closed position, the hood is now about 3/4 to 1 inch lower than each fender. Super paranoid I tried to drive as slowly as I can home, but I did reach speed up to 55 mph. Thankfully it did not happen again. Gm spokesperson blames it on user error. I guarantee you guys this is not user error
CategoryUnknown Or Other
DateJul 17, 2020
StateFL
Description
The front trunk lid (the lid) opened at a speed of about 40mph on a city street. The warning light was not lite prior to this incident and nothing activated the lid door switch. This incident bent the lid hinges and dis-aligned the lid resulting in the damaging of the corners of the quarter panels. I have now taped down the lid in front to prevent this occurring again. I have notified my chevy dealer of this incident and will be replacing the hinges and repair the quarter panels.
CategoryStructure:body
DateJul 13, 2020
StateNY
Description
Hood on vehicle could come unlatched since there is only one latch point, no safety latch. The hood releases twice and could spring open, causing impaired vision to the driver, and flying objects to vehicle in the rear,. In addition to causing extensive vehicle damage.. There have been at least 7 reported on the corvette forum. The forum represents only a small sample of the approx. 7000 vehicles produced to date. I have secured mine using hi tensile cord., awaiting a fix from gm.
CategoryStructure:body
DateJul 12, 2020
StateFL
Description
The front trunk of the vehicle flew open while driving causing blocked visibility and created bent hinges for the lid. This happened on a city street and did not take it on the highway afterwards for safety reasons
CategoryStructure:body
DateJul 12, 2020
StateTX
Description
I was pulling out of the driveway and onto the city road driving about 30-40 mph and my front trunk opened on it's own. I had no warning signs or got no audible alerts when my front trunk opened on its own. I've been in contact with my dealership and they said gm warranty will not cover the problem or fix my damages, that my insurance needs to cover that.
CategoryStructure:body, Visibility/wiper
DateJul 12, 2020
StatePA
Description
While driving at a prudent speed the hood of my vehicle opened with some damage to the hood(sprung hinges) and body damage. I got a signal that the hood was open and then the hood sprung open. I was driving at 35-40 mph at the time and came to a stop in a prudent manner.(no visibility)
CategoryStructure:body
DateJun 11, 2020
StateSC
Description
The 2020 chevrolet corvette is truly a unique looking automobile and it attracts attention everywhere you go. Almost everybody wants to look at it. On 04/30/2020, I was at a local shopping center and several people were admiring the car and 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 to 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. *tr
CategoryStructure:body
DateApr 17, 2020
StateNC
Description
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 a 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. *tr

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Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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