General Motors Co. has issued a vehicle defect recall for 22,000 of its Chevrolet Corvettes over worries that the roof may fly off the cars. According to a news report in Detroit News, this auto product defect recall involves 2005-2007 model year Chevy Corvettes and Corvette Z06 models. Apparently, the adhesive between the roof panel and frame on these vehicles might separate causing the roofs to come off. GM plans on installing a redesigned roof panel to replace the defective roofs.

GM officials say that if there is partial separation, drivers of these vehicles may notice one or more symptoms such as a snapping noise while driving over bumps, wind noise, poor roof panel fit, roof panel movement or bounce when a door or hatch is closed, or a water leak.

Prior Issues with Roof Separation

This is not the first time General Motors had issued a defective product recall for these vehicles over roof separation problems. In May 2006, GM told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it was voluntarily recalling about 31,000 2005-2006 Corvettes over concerns that the roof panel and frame could separate in hot and humid conditions. At the time, GM officials stated that the problem was because of “inadequate bonding strength.” The company had received at least 11 consumer complaints about the roof separations. At the time, the company’s solution to the problem was to insert adhesive foam. Only if necessary, would the roofs be replaced.

But as we now know, the adhesive foam did not fix the problem. The company still received 108 claims for roof separation after the adhesive foam was added. GM says there were no injuries or deaths as a result of this auto product defect. This time, GM says they will completely replace the roofs.

Ineffective Solution

In this particular vehicle defect case, GM should have replaced the roofs in the first place. It seems to me that they did not adequately test the effectiveness of the adhesive foam inserted as a fix for the roof separation problem. Roof separation, especially when the car is in motion, can be extremely dangerous. It could certainly lead to major car accidents and cause catastrophic injuries or death. This is yet another case of an auto maker dragging their feet to find an effective solution for a problem that was their own making. As always it’s the consumer who ends up paying dearly for the mistakes made by these defective product manufacturers.

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