Throwback Thursday: That Time a Grand Sport C7 Was Totaled Over a Little Crack
The Corvette Grand Sport is one intricate, precise piece of machinery. Sometimes, that can be a frustratingly bad thing.
Tiny Crack, Big Problems
Modern vehicles are amazing rolling conglomerates of technology. They've evolved for over a century, getting faster, more efficient, and more reliable with each passing year. But as Corvette Forum user cdm85-251 discovered, that amazing amount of tech can also be a problem. After a chance encounter with a large obstacle on the highway, he found his 2017 Grand Sport damaged beyond repair. But unless you take a really, really close look, you'd never be able to tell!
One Expensive Rock
A trip to the dealership after the encounter led to some seriously bad news. The dealership located a small crack in the rear structural member/transmission tunnel of the Corvette. According to the dealership, it's a non-serviceable part not offered by Chevrolet. The dealership quoted him a repair cost of $7,600 even without factoring in the cost of the part or labor!
The insurance company, like most rational people, found it hard to believe that such a simple looking problem on a virtually brand new sports car was declared unrepairable. And yet, the dealership told the OP that neither they nor Chevrolet could fix it. The insurance company, for their part, tried to find a solution. But welding the frame would have immediately voided the warranty. And Chevrolet claimed that replacing the part would compromise the integrity of the car.
In the end, the insurance company gave in and declared the car a total loss. The OP was reimbursed a fair value for the car, and it went up for sale in a salvage auction. So somebody got a heck of a deal, though they also assume the obvious risk that comes with such a car. And though it might seem tempting to buy the car back and repair it, the OP had good reasons for not wanting to try his luck.
"I was told to do all of the repairs, not including the structural part, the entire driveline and interior would have to be removed. I appreciate everyone's thoughts on having it repaired, but I debate doing this and driving a car that could develop a problem in the future. I also take a financial punch either way. I can spend more money and buy a new car, or down the road trying to sell a car that has a rebuilt salvage title, which will also bring down the value."
Method to the Madness
So let this serve as a cautionary tale - be careful, and look out for large objects on the road! It might seem crazy to think that such a small problem could lead to such a big one, but that's one of the downsides to modern performance cars. It's not that they're fragile, per se. Just that they're built to be as rigid as possible, as fsvoboda explains. And that can be expensive, too.
"The damaged structure is the very core of the car, with a lot built up around it that can't easily be removed and replaced. (Some is welded, some glued). Essentially, repairing it would mean a complete frame replacement, assuming Chevy will even sell a complete frame. A complete frame for a C7 probably could only be built up accurately on the assembly line and then pulled off mid-build, but other parts might be added before the frame was complete. I suspect it's not practical. Even if you could get a complete frame, a rebuild would be hugely expensive in terms of labor. All the stuff done efficiently on the assembly line would have to be undone and re-done manually."
For help with service and maintenance of your car, see the how-to right here.