This isn't a design flaw.
You don't have to live in a year-round warm weather climate to own a convertible these days. Long gone are the days of thin cloth tops that did a terrible job of keeping the cool air out. Not only have automakers turned fabric tops into airtight structures, but they've also introduced retractable hardtops. The new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible is the perfect example.
With the simple push of a button, the Vette's top will raise or lower itself in just 16 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. The convertible weighs only around 80 pounds more than the coupe thanks to the use of composite materials for the roof and electric motors instead of the hydraulic units used for its C7 predecessor.
But, new Corvette convertible owners and would-be owners should be aware of something GM Authority noticed in the car's owner's manual. The Corvette's top cannot be lowered in freezing outdoor temperatures. The manual states the top can only be lowered at temperatures down to freezing, which is 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and raised down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drivers will be informed if the vehicle's sensors detect outdoor temperatures as being too low for the convertible to function by way of an icon on the Driver Information Center. We have no idea why anyone would drive a convertible at such cold temperatures in the first place.
In case they do after their heads go completely numb, the manual suggests moving the car inside a heated building or a garage to get the top operating again. Another potentially serious problem of not being able to operate the top, aside from one's body temperature rapidly decreasing, is that owners will not have access to the engine compartment.
Not being able to lower a convertible top in cold weather is not a new thing; the C7 Corvette Convertible and current Camaro Convertible can't do it either. However, owners can still access their engines because neither has a mid-engine setup.