General Motors says it is delaying shipments of thousands of 2015 Corvettes and telling dealerships that already have the new models to stop selling them for the time being. A spokesperson at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant says two safety issues are at the heart of the decision.
One issue concerns rear parking brake cables, the other with the part used to connect the airbag and steering wheel.
Bill Visnic, senior analyst with edmunds.com says the entire auto industry, not just GM, has learned lessons in the last year about disclosing potential safety problems.
“There’s definitely erring on the side of caution in this case,” said Visnic. “But at the same time, it’s just more-or-less simply the right thing to do, particularly when you’re talking about a high-performance model where someone might be using the car in fairly extreme conditions, you want to make sure you have all the requisite safety items where you need them to be.”
It's said that every car has a story at the Corvette Homecoming
For 33 years, hundreds of the members of the very tight-knit community of Corvette owners make their way to Bowling Green for the Corvette Homecoming. It’s happened every summer since 1981 and heat can usually be the biggest weather concern. But this year, the problem was rain.
There was a steady drizzle all day Saturday in Bowling Green – not conducive to walking around and looking at Corvettes in a parking lot. The cars were still there, just not in the numbers as have been seen in past years. Most of the action was taking place inside, under the roof of the Sloan Convention Center where some of the most prized Corvettes were on display.
Fans of the car from all over the country were in attendance. For some, they make it a yearly pilgrimage.
“Just the camaraderieship. Mingling with people, having fun, talking Corvette stuff. Good stuff,” said Cedric Wingo of Clarksville, Tennessee.
The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green has decided to turn its unintended attraction into a permanent one.
The board of directors met Wednesday and discussed repairs options for the Skydome, the site of a February 12 sinkhole that swallowed eight cars on display.
Preliminary plans include keeping a small portion of the hole open and building over it a bridge.
"We don't know yet if we will do that, but we hope that it can be a part of it so people can walk over it and look down, and possibly place one or two of the sinkhole cars back in there to give people an idea of the depth and what it looked like when it happened," says Marketing and Communications Director Katie Frassinelli.
The sinkhole has attracted lots of gawkers with the museum reporting a 59 percent increase in visitors since March compared to the same time period last year.
Construction plans also call for converting the Skydome from two levels to one, which would enlarge the display area and make it easier to get the cars in and out of the structure.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has signed a Construction Partnership Program agreement with the company repairing the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green to ensure and enhance safety during the complex repair process.
Cabinet Secretary Larry Roberts said they were proud to work with Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction on the "unique challenges to the workers who are part of the rebuilding process."
WBKO reports the construction will require fall protection, trenching and excavation safety measures as well as proper procedures involving heavy equipment such as cranes all inside an existing structure. The worksite will involve as many as twenty people working in close proximity at one time. That led Scott, Murphy and Daniel to request the partnership with the Labor Cabinet.
Engineers, geologists and emergency officials are also involved in the project. Faculty and students with Western Kentucky University's Engineering department as well as the Geography and Geology department are assisting with the evaluation of the ground surrounding the worksite. Their goal is to make sure there are no further collapses and the renovation is on a solid and safe foundation.
Two more sunken sports cars were pulled from the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green on Wednesday. Officials at the museum estimated that it might take weeks to pull the next cars from the hole, but on Wednesday, crews were able to extract a white, 1992 model, the one-millionth Corvette to roll off the assembly line. Later in the afternoon, they recovered the 1984 PPG Pace Car.
Five of the eight cars that fell into the hole February 12th have now been recovered and will be on display at the museum through early August.
The National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green put on quite a show Monday. Construction crews began the slow, methodical process of removing eight cars that fell into a 50-foot sinkhole last month in the Skydome exhibit area.
Crews did a few test runs over the weekend, but the moment of truth came at 10:35a.m. when first out of the depths of the hole was a blue 2009 ZR-1.
As a crane safely lifted to the surface the 3,500-pound car known as the ‘Blue Devil,’ Museum Director Wendell Strode smiled and gave a thumbs up.
“It was a wonderful feeling and something we have been building for ever since the first day when this all happened," commented Strode. “The pride, you could just see it. We’re happy for everyone who has had a hand in it to this point and certainly all the supporters worldwide. It’s a great feeling and we’re thrilled to share it with so many others."
Strode was amazed at the car’s good condition.
“The pictures we had seen previously looked as though it had been delicately placed on top of the soil, but when it was coming out, it looked like it could be started right up and driven off," he added. "It’s a great tribute to the engineering and everything that goes into the Corvette.”
Besides some fiberglass damage, an oil leak, and some scrapes, the ‘Blue Devil’ defied the odds. Cheers erupted when the car cranked up and drove a few feet. Construction Manager Mike Murphy was shocked.
“I could not believe it fired up and they could drive it out the door. After taking a 40-foot fall, that’s amazing," said Murphy.
The ‘Blue Devil’ was loaded onto a flatbed trailer and moved to the museum’s exhibit area where all eight cars as they are recovered, will be on display through August 3.
Engineers expect to start pulling out Corvettes from a Bowling Green sinkhole next week.
Eight vintage versions of the car fell into the sinkhole that opened up two weeks ago beneath the National Corvette Museum. The construction company Scott, Murphy, and Daniel says the removal of the first three cars could begin next Monday, with the hopes of having those vehicles out of the sinkhole by Wednesday.
The construction team has been told it can bring excavation equipment into the Skydome area of the museum where the sinkhole opened up.
Workers will be allowed to set up cranes that will suspend engineers and contractors into the hole so that they can better examine the condition of the sinkhole and create a recovery plan.
The company estimates the crane will be in place by Saturday.
Construction crews at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green are making preparations to remove the eight cars that fell into a massive sinkhole less than a week ago.
Measures are also being taken to satisfy curious guests.
Right after the sinkhole collapse, a temporary wall was placed between the Skydome and the rest of the museum. Now, the wall is being moved closer inside the Skydome and a window is being put in so that visitors can get a better view of the sinkhole and the work being done around it.
"We've had quite a few visitors who have been coming specifically to catch a glimpse of the sinkhole, and for safety reasons, we can't allow them to go into the Skydome to see it for themselves," says Communications Director Katie Frassinelli.
A live webcam has also been placed above the sinkhole and can be accessed here.
Anecdotally, she’s seeing more visitors than normal for this time of year and more local gawkers are showing up at the museum.
Construction remains on schedule at the new Motorsports Park adjacent to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. Mitch Wright, general manager of the Motorsports Park says any concerns related to the sinkhole that opened up inside the museum last week we’re actually addressed months ago.
“We did have some sinkholes on the property, which we have remediated. We had quite a bit of geotech work done prior to the construction starting," said Wright. “We’re pretty confident we found what we needed to find and we’re going to have a fantastic facility for people to enjoy.”
He says crews are making progress with underground work right now, and pavement will be put down in the spring. The Motorsports Park is scheduled for completion in August.