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NHTSA Defect Investigations for the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette

The Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) is an office within the NHTSA which investigates serious safety problems in the design, construction or performance of vehicles. The NHTSA is authorized to order manufacturers to recall and repair vehicles, if the ODI finds a safety issue. NHTSA investigations for the 2004 Chevrolet Corvette, both ongoing and closed, are listed below:

  1. INVESTIGATION: Fuel Tank Leak

    NHTSA Preliminary Evaluation #PE10015

    • Status:
    • Date Opened: May 12, 2010
    • Date Closed: September 10, 2010
    • Recall: No recall issued

    Component(s): Fuel System, Gasoline
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Delivery:Hoses, Lines/Piping, And Fittings
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly
    Fuel System, Gasoline:Storage:Tank Assembly:Filler Pipe And Cap

    Summary: In its June 30, 2010 response to ODI's Information Request letter, General Motors (GM) identified the leak source as cracks in either the fuel tank cross-over tube quick connector (connector) and/or the "hot-plate" weld joint of the connector to the tank.The root causes are attributed to errors in connector material processing, variations in the welding process, and high stresses placed on the driver's side connector during vehicle use.GM also identified the scope of the subject vehicles involved to be those produced from approximately October 22, 2003 through March 19, 2004.GM does not believe the cracks represent an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety based on factors that include; low rate of fuel leaking to the ground, detectable fuel odor, the cracks are at the top of the tank, leaks are detectable during refueling, small quantities of fuel that leaks out, and no associated property damage or personal injury claims.On August 13, 2010, GM issued a "Special Coverage Adjustment" to remedy fuel tank quick connector leaks and extend the warranty for this issue to 10 years or 100,000 miles in certain 2004 Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac XLR vehicles.Vehicle owners will be notified by mail of the adjustment and will also be entitled to reimbursement for previously paid repairs covered under the adjustment.(See file for, SERVICE BULLETIN 10150: SPECIAL COVERAGE ADJUSTMENT-FUEL TANK QUICK CONNECTOR LEAK).The closing of this investigation does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.The agency reserves the right to take further action if warranted by the circumstances.


    NHTSA Engineering Analysis #EA02031

    Component(s): Steering
    Steering:Column Locking:Anti-Theft Device

    Summary: In 2001, General Motors (GM) issued customer service campaigns 1044 and 1044A to address a condition where the steering column would fail to unlock during the initial key-in and start-up in certain MY 1998-2000 Corvette vehicles.however, ODI continued to receive complaints concerning steering column lockup on Corvette a result, PE02-054 was opened and later upgraded to EA02-031 for MY 1997-2001 subject vehicles.ODI's analysis identified concerns with post-repair failures in vehicles serviced through the campaigns, as well as, failures in MY 1997-2003 subject vehicles not included in the campaigns.(note: The manufacturer failure data above is limited to MY 1997-2003 vehicles through 10/17/2003.)on February 6, 2004, GM notified NHTSA of a safety defect in MY 1997-2004 Corvette vehcles equipped with manual transmissions and MY 1997-2000 Corvette vehicles with automatic transmissions.the notification stated that if the voltage at the powertrain control module (PCM), which was designed to shut down the fuel supply when the steering column failed to unlock and the customer tried to drive the vehicle, is low or interrupted, the fuel shut off may not a result, the customer could drive the vehicle while the steering column was locked causing the driver to lose steering control and possibly crash without warning.GM will instruct owners to bring their vehicles to a dealer to have the PCM reprogrammed for manual transmission vehicles and the electric column lock disabled for automatic transmission vehicles.ODI will monitor the effectiveness of the remedy in the manual transmission vehicles and take further action if warranted.

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