10 Things Corvette C8 Owners Never Tell You
Jul 30, 2023
The new Corvette C8 may be one of the most exciting sports cars in recent history, but the issues owners have with them are already plenty.
Legendary figures like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, and Elvis Presley loved the Corvette. Even the crew of Apollo 12 owned this iconic sports car. Yet as time went on, the Corvette started to lose some of its star power. That is, until the automaker released the C3 in white, and once again, Americans remembered why they adored this vehicle. The automaker sold an impressive 43,681 classic white Corvettes of the C3 generation. Just for context, in 2021, Chevy sold a total of 33.041 Corvettes and this includes all colors.
Fast-forward to 2019, when Chevrolet introduced the C8, and celebrities like Sylvester Stallone and KISS rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist Paul Stanley have started parading their Corvettes. And if younger generations had ever forgotten how amazing the Chevy Corvette is, they have just been brought back to their senses. Since the release of the C8, most gearheads have this mid-engine sports car on their wishlist, but there are some things C8 owners never tell you. So keep on reading to find out more.
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The fact that the Corvette C8 suffers from reduced rear visibility is common knowledge. As General Motors mounted the engine in the rear middle of the car, the process impacted rear visibility.
“In the C8, you've got a window right behind your head and an engine right behind that. As a result, cabin space, cargo space, and rear visibility are all considerably reduced in the C8,” says Carmax. In this context, rear cameras and park sensors become your best friends.
“Some C8 Corvette Stingray owners have experienced gasket failures with their vehicle’s Tremec TR-9080 transmission, resulting in leaks, while others have observed error messages telling them to put the vehicle in park and take it in for servicing,” says GM Authority.
General Motors' data submitted to the NHTSA indicates they may relate the problem to “debris on the park position sensor magnet causing an incorrect position reading to the (transmission control module).”
According to Consumer Reports, the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette has a predicted reliability score of 3.0 out of 5.0. Meanwhile, the 2022 model had an even lower reliability score of 2.0 out of 5.0 and there is already a recall on this model because “rear half-shaft assemblies may be missing one or more ball bearings, which can result in a loss of drive power.” RepairPal also gives the Chevrolet Corvette an average reliability score of 3.0 out of 5.0.
Sports cars aren’t really famous for their generous storage capacity, so, understandably, the Corvette C8 is not an exception. Consumer Reports gives the 2023 Chevy Corvette a score of 1.0 out of 5.0 for truck space and cargo area. Gear heads interested in this vehicle should consider that the 2023 Corvette offers only 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which is decent enough for a sports car. The space is divided between a front and rear trunk, but don’t expect to carry more than your groceries and a couple of small bags.
In the past, sports cars prioritized the comfort of the driver, while ignoring the passenger. However, in recent years, things have changed. General Motors took a more traditional approach to passenger comfort when it comes to the C8 as the copilot has a tighter spot and the entire cabin is driver-oriented. On the Corvette Forum, fans discuss how their wives and partners find it difficult to accept the car because of the narrow space.
“My wife really does not like the C8 passenger side. She said she feels like she is in a motorcycle sidecar and she is just along for the ride,” said a forum user. “I did sit in the passenger side and also thought it was smaller than our C7. Part of the reason is that the console angles inward as does the passenger door which makes it seem smaller. It might have more leg and headroom, but does seem to be narrow side to side compared to a C7.”
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In December 2018, several media channels reported that General Motors postponed by 6 months the release of the 2020 Corvette C8 because of electrical issues. Unnamed sources told GM Authority that engineers discovered a “major electrical issue” with the Corvette during the development process. It seems like GM hasn’t fixed all the bugs because the C8 still suffered because of electrical system issues. NHTSA complaints for the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette include 3 complaints for the electrical system. For instance, a complaint filed with the NHTSA says that the “2022 Corvette is dangerous and could kill someone on the highway.” The owner explains how the frunk storage area opens up automatically by itself, while he is driving the car. He also points out that owners of the 2020 model year complained about the same issue.
HotCars contributor, Simran Rastogi said that long waiting lists have become the norm because of Covid-19 shutdowns and shortage of components.
“Speaking of, the waitlist for the 2023 Corvette could put off several potential buyers, if the insane dealer markups haven’t already done so. For a Corvette customer lucky enough to book one, the wait of 12-18 months (or more) to take delivery of a new C8 will be excruciatingly long,” said Rastogi. “While build and delivery times of the C8 Corvette is only 6–8 weeks, it seems the long wait comes from actually placing the order for one and getting an allotment.”
Some LT2 engines come with serious problems, which led to catastrophic consequences. The engines that were built using a faulty batch of valve springs between June 1 and September 15, 2020, were the most affected. But this issue also impacted other engines like LT1 and LT4. However, engines built after that date are not impacted by this problem, although they have their own issues.
As mentioned before, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall for certain Corvettes manufactured at the GM Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky because of the missing ball bearings for the 2021 and 2022 model, which could lead to loss of drive power and even crashes.
“A review of field data completed on January 22, 2022, revealed no additional relevant field incidents,” said General Motors. “GM is not aware of any injuries or crashes related to this condition.”
Although the NHTSA has issued 4 recalls for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette because of issues with the seat belts, service brakes, electrical system, and latches/locks/ linkages, consumers shouldn’t avoid this model. But if they decide to buy a C8, they should stay away from the 2022 Chevy Corvette, which was ranked by Consumer Reports fifth in the top 10 worst in reliability, with a reliability score of 13 out of 100.
Sources: NHTSA, Car Sales Base, GM Authority, Top Class Actions, Cars.com, Corvette Forums, Vola Cars, Consumer Reports, Carmax, RepairPal.
Eugenia Akhim is a luxury car aficionado. She naturally gravitates towards the legendary 911 and the classic Ferrari because they are fun to drive and have a killer aesthetic. In her column, expect to read more about turbo-powered vehicles.sports car