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GM Recalls 111k Corvettes Over Headlight Failures

After an investigation that we first discussed exactly 374 days ago, General Motors has announced a recall of over 111,000 Chevrolet Corvette coupes and convertibles over a concern that the low beam portion of the headlights could fail to function when they get hot – while also agreeing to fix a large group of Corvettes not included in the actual recall.

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Back on May 10th 2013, we brought you the news that the C6 Chevrolet Corvette was under investigation after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received 30 complaints of the low beam portion of the headlights failing. There were no injuries or accidents involving other cars reported in those initial complaints, but one guy who pulled his car off of the road when his headlights failed hit a tire lying on the side of the road…which surely did some damage to the front fascia.

During the first 3 months of the preliminary investigation of the C6 Corvette headlights, the NHTSA received another 65 complaints and based on that influx, the feds upgraded the investigation to an engineering analysis. The result of that second stage were findings that led the feds to ask General Motors to issue a recall of the Corvettes which might have the faulty headlights. The recall pertains specifically to 111,889 Corvette coupes and convertibles from the 2005, 2006 and 2007 model years but interestingly, the company is also willing to perform the same service to any 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 model year Corvettes of owners who are concerned about running into the problem. There has been no word why the 2008-2013 models are not included – considering that they are from the same generation and likely share many of the same components – but those models are not actually part of the recall.

General Motors has not announced exactly how they will rectify this problem on the 2005-2007 Chevrolet Corvette, but they have explained exactly what is causing the problem. It turns out that there is an “electrical center” under the hood that may expand due to the extreme engine heat and when this electrical connection expands and contracts over and over, it is prone to breaking. When that happens, the low beam headlights will fail to function. I would imagine that the fix involves adding some sort of heat insulation to this electrical center to either protect the whole unit from the heat or to prevent the consistent expansion under high temperatures.

Fortunately, the high beam headlights, the fog lights and all of the other lights around the Chevrolet Corvette will continue to function, but that won’t prevent the driver from suddenly losing the headlights while driving at night. Because of that, the owners of these affected Corvettes will be able to light their way home with the high beams and/or fog lights – but there is still that risky instance where the lights go out altogether. In total, GM is aware of several hundred complaints about the headlights in the C6 Corvette quitting without notice…but there are still no reported crashes, injuries or fatalities as result of this problem.

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thomas Johnson (not verified)    October 4, 2014 - 9:38PM

Seems like the front console lights go out and I get a message "headlamps suggested".

And the like go out,''

Chev Corvette 2005 convertible - high performance. Is this car under recall, if so what do I do to get repaired

Dan Lee (not verified)    December 3, 2017 - 3:59AM

In reply to by ron zdellar (not verified)

I bought The 2008 Corvette used in 2013, it was a one owner vehicle when I got it. I got rid of it in 2015. I received a letter from Chevrolet telling me that my car needed the cable replaced. I had my local Chevrolet dealer order the replacement cable and it didn't take but just a few minutes to put it on. When I did own it, I didn't drive it at night a lot, but when I did, I never had the headlamp issue that was discussed.

Frank Greenday (not verified)    November 6, 2014 - 9:30PM

What do you mean "the company is willing to also do the same service to any of the 2008 models and above"? I have a 2008 C6 with no working low beam headlights and they will not help me out at all, all they say is they will refund the cost of repairs (at least $750) IF they ever recall the 2008 model. I am fighting with them on every level I can think of, but with nothing to show for it. I hate G.M.

NORMAN GOLDMAN (not verified)    December 26, 2014 - 11:07PM


Dan Lee (not verified)    January 16, 2015 - 7:45PM

I haven't had any issues with the headlights on my 2008 Corvette. I got a letter today from Chevrolet telling me to bring my car to a Chevrolet dealer and they would install a jumper wire to solve the low beam headlight issue at no charge.

Tony (not verified)    April 30, 2015 - 1:14AM

In reply to by Dan Lee (not verified)

Where is the jumper wire? The plastic on the lense covers heat up and they look horrible. All my driver side lights have been out for months. Please reply anyone. I want to do my repairs to my own car. GM isn't going to do a damn thing for my 2008 convertible that has 54,000 miles.

Aurelio Chavez (not verified)    July 14, 2015 - 1:24PM

In reply to by Dan Lee (not verified)

I had work on my 2008 vet by the dealer and now I'm having problems with my battery going dead after sitting still for three to four days. The windows going up and down when I shut the car off. What did they tell you.

Frank Greenday (not verified)    January 17, 2015 - 2:51PM

Well, I've gotten no such thing - could you provide details from your letter, such as a name or department to contact, or a reference code or such to give to the dealership when you take your C6 in for the fix? I just can't tell you how frustrating it's been trying to get resolution with GM re: this issue, just maddening.

Dan Lee (not verified)    January 19, 2015 - 7:54PM

In reply to by Frank Greenday (not verified)

The GM address at the top of the letter concerning my 2008 corvette is:
P.O. Box 909989
Milwaukee, WI 53209-9989

The following is the content of the letter I received on January 15, 2015.

On certain 2008 model year Chevrolet Corvette vehicles, when the engine is warm, the underhood bussed electrical center (UBEC) housing will expand, causing the headlamp low-beam relay control
circuit routed wire to bend slightly. After the wire is repeatedly bent, it can fracture and separate.
When this occurs, the low-beam headlamps will not illuminate. As the UBEC housing cools and contracts, the low-beam function may return. This condition does not affect the high-beam
headlamps, marker lamps, turn signals, daytime running lights or fog lamps. Loss of low beam
headlamps when they are required could reduce the driver's visibility, as well as the vehicle's
conspicuity to other motorists, increasing the risk of a crash.
Your satisfaction with your Corvette is very important to us, so we are announcing a program to
prevent this condition or, if it has occurred, to fix it.
What We Will Do: Your Chevrolet dealer will install a jumper wire. This service will be performed for
you at no charge.
What You Should Do: To limit any possible inconvenience we recommend that you contact your
Chevrolet dealer as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for this repair. By scheduling an
appointment, your dealer can ensure that the necessary parts will be available on your scheduled
appointment date.
Reimbursement: Even though you may have already had repairs for this condition, you will still need
to take your vehicle to your dealer for additional repairs. If you have paid for repairs for this condition
described in this letter, please complete the enclosed reimbursement form and present it to your
dealer with all required documents. Working with your dealer will expedite your request, however, if
this is not convenient, you may mail the completed reimbursement form and all required documents to
Reimbursement Department, PO Box 33170, Detroit, MI 48232-5170. The completed form and
required documents must be presented to your dealer or received by the Reimbursement Department
by January 31, 2016, unless state law specifies a longer reimbursement period.
If you have any question or concerns that your dealer is unable to resolve, please contact the
Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center at 1.800.222.1020 (TTY 1.800.833.2438).
We sincerely regret any inconvenience or concern that this situation may cause you. We want you to
know that we will do our best, throughout your ownership experience, to ensure that your Chevrolet
Corvette provides you will many miles of enjoyable driving.
Alicia Boler-Davis
Sr. Vice President
Global Quality & Customer Experience

I called the dealer after I received the letter. I told them that I have my Corvette put away for the winter. They told me that when I do decide to have it repaired to make an appointment so they can ensure that they have the part on hand for my appointment.

Bill Garey (not verified)    February 27, 2015 - 10:45AM

Got my recall notice on head lamp failure and returned car to dealer for correction . A bigger problem still exist with the electric door opener on the drivers side that doesn't, always work. Manual override is needed to open the door.

Frank (not verified)    February 28, 2015 - 10:01AM

In reply to by Bill Garey (not verified)

Same exact problem w/ my '08 C6, my door works much more often when it's warm, though, crazy as that may sound. When the problem started about 3 years ago, i had to manually open door about 85% of the time year round (my dealership wouldn't give me exact info on what it would cost to fix so I wouldn't allow them to screw me further, figured I'd fix myself). However, as time went on it "works" pretty much all summer now so I've yet to pursue a fix. Just one of many electrical ghosts in my car. 3 weeks ago my car slowed down to almost nothing while at highway speed - warning came on my display saying "decreased engine power, service traction control system". Happened twice that night (reset by restarting car), but no more since. Dealership says can't diagnose w/out an active warning display (said they "probably" couldn't even get a code from the history function - but would have to charge me to try either way)! Always something.

Dave (not verified)    April 9, 2015 - 4:55AM

In reply to by Frank (not verified)

Frank, my 2005 done the same thing. Started out with just the Service Active Handling light coming on. And I just turn the car off and start it back up and Service Active Handling light disappeared. That went on for around a year. And one night, Low Engine Power and Active Handling light began coming on and car had no powerI was do the same process as before. Kill the car and start back up until one night, the car would restart but the lights would not go off car had no power. Anyway, it ended up being a bad Throttle body that was causing it. And since they Drive by wire, I had to buy the whole unit. It was an easy fix. Took me about 35 minutes. But it cost me $700 just for the Throttle body alone. Maybe this will help. Try and get a code scanner and it will give you a code that you can trace bace down to that. But after I replaced that Throttle body, I havent had a service anything light on at all since. (: (:

Thurman (not verified)    May 9, 2022 - 8:09PM

In reply to by Dave (not verified)

I have a 2005 c6. I had the low beam recall done and now I am getting the reduce power engine light. I replaced the entire throttle body unit twice, ECM, alternator and connectors, new connectors on the throttle body, new pedal sensor, new battery as well. The reduce power light is back on again. I need help bad.

Nolan Katz (not verified)    March 17, 2015 - 12:38AM

after installation of the jumper wire on my 06 Corvette the left front direction lamp does not function. Are the problems related? The jumper was replaced 3 weeks ago.

Ernest hall07 (not verified)    June 11, 2015 - 6:37AM

i have a 2011 corvette grand sport z16/ 3wlt. My hach does not close good And what about my head lights C6

Frank (not verified)    July 4, 2015 - 11:37AM

I thought I had followed up on my low beam headlight failure, apparently not, so - I did finally receive a letter from GM announcing the recall. Had the work done, no further problem w/ that issue. Driver's side door lock is another issue. Fortunately it's summer, so it works now. But, come the fall, back to manual opening!

Judah DeMeire (not verified)    February 3, 2016 - 7:16PM

Exact same problem with my '05 Vette Headlights, but GM refuses to recall my VIN!!! Who said that GM will replace ALL C6's ?!
Anyone know how to replace the UBEC or jump wire themselves?

bill kettell (not verified)    February 20, 2016 - 8:16PM

my problem has been that the left front turn signal burns out frequently. the harness appears to be stretched tight.

C Richard (not verified)    May 7, 2016 - 2:45PM

drivers door stopped opening(2009 vette) dealer repair cost $486. is there a recall for this. I see a lot of other people having a similar problem but no word from GM. Am I stuck with this bill or can I petition GM for a refund. 2nd, had cat recall done. better milage after and performance is OK. 3rd, should I ask about headlight recall for my 09 vette??

Dan Lee (not verified)    May 9, 2016 - 1:28PM

The local Chevrolet dealer near where I live have been great. They ordered the headlamp cable for my 2008 Corvette and installed it. The other issue I had was the oil pan gasket started leaking. It could have been an expensive fix had I not had an extended warranty. (I was the second owner) I had a FelPro gasket installed.

Steve N Toscano (not verified)    July 20, 2019 - 4:07PM

My 2006 headlights turn on but when I turn off the car I cant turn them back on. When the car cools down again, the lights turn on. If I drive for 30 minutes or more the lights turn off and I can't turn them back on.
I know the car is old the and recall has expired. Can I order the wire?

Daniel L Cafourek (not verified)    August 1, 2019 - 5:39PM

In reply to by Steve N Toscano (not verified)

I would check with a Chevrolet dealer. I wouldn't think that the repair to fix the headlamps would expire. I don't have my 2008 Corvette anymore, but I had the repair done about 4 years ago. The dealership ordered the cable and it only took them 20 minutes to install it.

Kaazim Umar (not verified)    June 24, 2020 - 7:10AM

I experience the same thing dealing with my headlights when it gets hot it will turn off and high bean still work