Chevrolet leveraged the eighth-generation Corvette‘s over-the-air software updating system to address reports of hoods flying open while the car is moving. In a video, above, posted on YouTube, Tadge Juechter, the model’s executive chief engineer, used his personal 2020 Corvette to demonstrate the changes his team made.
Several owners complained that their Corvette’s hood (or, in 2020-speak, its frunk) unexpectedly opened while they were driving. Some were able to pull over and close it, but others noted the incident damaged the hood, its hinges, or both. Chevrolet examined the reports and blamed them on user error, not on a design- or manufacturing-related defect, but it nonetheless asked its engineers to find a solution. And nonetheless GM will provide reimbursement to owners for repairs.
Juechter explained opening the hood used to require pressing a button on the key fob twice in rapid succession, but his team realized that could easily be done accidentally while the fob is in the driver’s pocket. Now, releasing the panel requires pressing the frunk button once, then pressing it again and holding it down for a couple of seconds.
Autoblog learned from a Chevrolet spokesperson that the update has already been sent out to Corvette owners. “They will receive a message on the infotainment screen explaining the download process. They will have to accept the update,” the representative added. It’s quicker and far more convenient than taking the car to a dealer.
This isn’t the Corvette’s first over-the-air update. In August 2020, Chevrolet tweaked the Body Control Module to lower the voltage required to wake the car up from the sleep mode it enters after it’s been parked for over 10 minutes. This ensures the emergency release button opens the hood even if the car’s electronics are asleep, and it lets someone (“a small person,” according to Chevrolet) trapped in the frunk get out without assistance.