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That square thing on foreign car bumpers?

My son pointed out that newer foreign cars have a square removable panel on their bumpers. We were trying to figure out what it is. My son said he also saw this on Cadillac CTS’s. We are thinking it has something to do with shipping the cars.

Anybody know the answer to what this is? I have seen it on Honda and Volvo.

Is it on the front bumper or both the front and rear? Do you live in Florida or another state where only one license plate is required on the rear of the car? The only thing like that I have seen was to cover up the front license plate mounting bracket.

Is it really square (all four sides of equal length), or is it rectangular? Could it be where they mount European style license plates?

A picture would help.

It’s more about foreign BUILT vehicles, but shipping hooks are usually built below and connect to the frame. I know what bman is talking about, and it’s like a 2-4 inch square “hatch” cover. You should look under the bumper to see what is in there. Could be an air-bag sensor access, or a simple shipping hook. Anyone have/work with car(s) with these?

On my wife’s BMW, it’s a cover for the tow hook underneath.

It’s simply a cover for the recovery loop built into the car’s subframe/bumper. It’s used as point to hook up a chain or rope to pull the car short distances (I.E. out of a snowbank)

here in england most cars have a little removeable panel in the bumpers,its for the screw in tow hook,in case you break down and have to be towed.

Thank you for the replies !! It makes sense and seems like a good idea. I wonder why only Cadillac CTS is the only American car with it? I’m going to keep looking. Maybe other cars have it and I just didn’t notice. I talked to someone who removed the cover and he said it looks like a cable would go in the opening. Is there some kind of a new hooking device on tow trucks like perhaps a push and turn thing and not a hook?

behind the cover is a threaded hole. Most of the cars have a screw in hook-eye in the tool kit with the lug wrench. Screw it in when you need a short pull.

These typically cover the tie down points used in shipping, typically a metal loop attached to a key structural point.

Just as mnt bike stated these are covers for shipping hooks. Some vehicles have this type and a hook mounted on a frame rail (on the same car). One might be for a hold down on the boat and the other for a train/truck.

Cadillac was trying pretty hard to push the CTS in European markets, so maybe this style of recovery hook is required there, or maybe because they’re shipping them overseas more regularly.

It’s a DVD player mount.