A Corvette Forum member recently stumbled upon an article posted to GM’s TechLink repairs website that indicates the automaker will only permit the sale of structural frame components to certified GM repair shops. That means that any Corvette C8 that requires structural repairs must be brought to a GM Collision Repair Network (CRN) or Cadillac Aluminum Repair Network (CARN) shop if the owner wishes to have it properly fixed.
“Structural repairs must be made by certified GM Collision Repair Network (CRN) or Cadillac Aluminum Repair Network (CARN) shops,” the TechLink article says. “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.”
While this may be a bit frustrating for some Chevrolet enthusiasts, it’s nothing new in the world of aluminum-frame sports cars. The C8 Corvette uses an aluminum frame that features a mix of alloy structural components, which would make it hard for a small, non-certified body shop to carry out structural repairs – even if they were approved to receive the proper structural components. Considering the fact that even the base Corvette C8 can accelerate to highway speeds in less than 3.5 seconds, it stands to reason why GM would be apprehensive to allow any old body shop to make repairs to the vehicle.
Many Corvette Forum members were not surprised to learn that GM had taken such a route with the new mid-engine C8 Corvette. One member with a Lotus Evora as their avatar photo said “welcome to owning a mid-engine car,” and added that every MR car they have owned “had very similar restrictions on frame repair.” It’s also worth noting that this is not specific to mid-engine vehicles, with some Honda vehicles and other vehicles with an aluminum subframe having similar restrictions on frame repair.
As always, the best way to avoid having to make costly repairs to a C8 Corvette (or any vehicle) is to drive it as responsibly as possible and avoid having a crash or collision.