In order for our modern sports cars to be as freakishly capable as they are, their structural components have become increasingly complex in recent years. The C8 Corvette is a great example of this premise, as the $60,000 sports car is constructed from a blend of carbon fiber, aluminum and fiberglass. These materials help the car become incredibly rigid while also keeping the weight down, but they also present some challenges should something go wrong on a drive. According to some new information out of GM’s TechLink site, it appears that Chevrolet won’t be letting just anyone buy C8 Corvette parts to repair the car.
Accidents happen out on the road. Nobody wants to find themselves needing major repairs done, but we usually expect that we can choose where this work will happen. One Corvette Forum user discovered that C8 Corvette owners won’t have that choice, as GM will not sell structural components to independent repair shops. The following statement is directly from the GM TechLink Site:
Structural repairs must be made by certified GM Collision Repair Network (CRN) or Cadillac Aluminum Repair Network (CARN) shops. Non-certified shops will not be permitted to receive the restricted structural part numbers from a GM dealership. The majority of the structural frame components for the C8 Corvette will be put on parts restriction.
This is an interesting development in the C8 saga, as this is not exactly a normal business practice. As to why GM has decided to go this route, it may be as a result of the difficulty involved in repairing the aluminum structures that comprise the C8. That said, there are plenty of other sports cars made from the same materials, and their manufacturers don’t require owners to visit certified shops. Furthermore, shouldn’t the owners of a piece of property decide how something is done to it?
We can’t say for sure at this time how Chevrolet’s control over C8 Corvette parts will pan out, but we do know that plenty of the Corvette faithful will not be pleased. With total control over the supply of parts and the shops that can do the repair work, Chevy will essentially be left to charge whatever they deem appropriate for the structural repairs. Drive carefully out there.