Home C8 Corvette News Where is Quality Control at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant?

Where is Quality Control at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant?

by Bradan DonaldsonBradan Donaldson
Loose bolts on a brand new 2021 Corvette engine

How do loose bolts sitting on top of the engine in a brand new 2021 Corvette pass quality control at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant?

Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of quality control issues with Corvettes occasionally coming out of the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant.  Some of them I can understand how they might have slipped by.  Others leave me scratching my head.  This is one of those cases.

The lead photo above shows a brand new 2021 Corvette that just arrived at a dealer fresh off the Jack Cooper Transport truck.  The shipping covers weren’t even off the car, when the trunk was opened to make sure that the bag of floor mats and center caps were in the car.  Sitting on top of the engine were these two bolts.

Loose bolts - engine comparts of a 2021 Corvette

The engine compartment was completely checked for a possible location to which these bolts belong, but to the eye, everything appears well fastened.  The other puzzling piece is that the majority of the bolts used in the engine compartment of a 2021 Corvette are small black torx bolts.  Where these came from and how they ended up on top of the engine is a complete mystery.

Quality Control and the Customer Perspective

Personally, I find this particular issue rather concerning.  How did this Corvette roll down the assembly line after the engine was installed and there wasn’t a single person that saw these bolts just sitting there?  You could see them plainly through the glass ventilation cover on top of the engine.

What’s even more concerning is that, given the state of C8 production for the last year, and the long wait times for customers to actually take delivery of their Corvettes, more and more customers are tracking their Corvettes via OnStar from the time their cars leave the assembly plant.  In many cases, the customers know their car is arriving at a dealer before the dealer does and they’re sitting in the dealer’s parking lot waiting for the Jack Cooper Transport truck to arrive.

Once it arrives, the customers are overjoyed that a car they’ve been waiting months; almost a year for has finally arrived.  These customers stand right there watch the dealership personnel remove the shipping covers, ask questions and take pictures of their Corvette for the very first time.

Now imagine the position that the dealership is put in, when they open the trunk with the customer standing there and the customer sees loose bolts sitting on top of their engine.  That is an absolute nightmare waiting to happen and there’s no excuse for it; especially on a flagship automobile that stickers for close to $100,000.

Imagine what goes through a customer’s head when their excitement for their new Corvette turns to extreme concern about what could go wrong because there were mystery bolts laying on top of their engine?

From paint drips and body panel misalignment to shoddy interior components and subpar craftsmanship, overall Corvette quality has come a LONG way since the early days of the marque.  With each new generation, we’ve seen a huge jump in overall quality of the Corvette and the C8 Corvette is the best we’ve seen yet.  However, loose bolts sitting on top of an engine is something I would expect to see on a 1968 Corvette rolling out of the St. Louis Corvette Assembly Plant.  Not in 2021 at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant.

Source:  Corvette Action Center Follower

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John Delore May 14, 2021 - 12:48 am

Having worked in quality control at the GM Tonawanda engine plant – the bolts ended up on top of the engine by an employee who is upset. Hard to believe but it does happen. The assembly line is fast paced and not everything is caught by the human eye.

Joe May 14, 2021 - 7:19 pm

John..I also have worked at GM / AAM component plant/ Forge for over 32 years as an Hourly and Salary. employee…GM Quality Control would VISIT OUR PLANT at random, or planned, to do a quality check on Forgings…I have seen disgruntled employees throw defective parts into a container with 100% inspected and gauged parts that were set out for QC INSPECTORS TO INSPECT. Makes no sense as to why an employee would sabotage their own job getting satisfaction for a selfish reason!?

duntov7zora May 14, 2021 - 1:28 pm

I’ve owned 7 Corvettes, and appreciate the ramifications of the assembly process. However, my worst observation was when I toured BG plant in 1998 to watch my new C5 being built…..at lunch, several union employees were seen sitting in the partially assembled Corvettes, eating lunch and/or smoking. Disappointed to say the least.

RALPH NAVARRETE May 14, 2021 - 7:34 pm

How do I “turn on” OnStar on my not-yet paid for Corvette. And how do I track it?

bruno trentacost September 17, 2022 - 11:54 am

Just received my 2023 C8 corvette, after test driving it we inspected it and found a paint bubble at the passenger front head light,. How the person who installed the light did not see this and report it I have no idea. The mentality is maybe they wont see it and we won’t have to deal with it. Building a super car with out the technicians to go with it.

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