Valet Mode Data Recorder In 2015 Corvettes Could Bring Legal Trouble For Some

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Not too long ago, General Motors brought comfort to many a new 2015 Corvette Stingray owner with a feature that would do for them what teddy-bear cams did for concerned parents, recording audio, video and vehicle data when the key was given to the valet. Alas, the spyware could land the owner in legal hot water in a dozen states, to say the least.

Automotive News reports GM and Chevrolet will send a software update in October to address the problems that could await owners in two-party states — California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington — were the data recorder used without the consent of the valet. The automaker also notified dealers to inform their customers to not use the system until the update goes through.

The proposed fix could include removing audio recording from the feature, adding a warning informing valets that they’re being recorded, or another method under consideration.

Another notification, signed by GM senior vice president for global quality and customer experience Alicia Boler-Davis, instructs customers to refrain from using the valet mode, or to inform the valet they would be recorded upon taking the car, and to “obtain their consent.”

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • PrincipalDan PrincipalDan on Sep 30, 2014

    So then is it also illegal in those states to have your Progressive "Snapshot" device activated? Flo might call for a spot check while the valet is trying to pull 1.00 gs on the parking garage ramps.

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    • Whynot Whynot on Sep 30, 2014

      I believe the issue is more with the audio recording, and less with the data recording.

  • Carguy Carguy on Sep 30, 2014

    Having laws against secretly recording conversations is a very good thing. I don't know what GM was thinking when they chose to record cabin audio as part of this feature. The good new is that it should be simple enough to fix. In the meantime, a simply note on the dash will work around the issue. Its the equivalent of "Your call may be recorded for quality control purposes".

    • See 1 previous
    • Stuki Stuki on Sep 30, 2014

      Having laws against anything is only a good thing if they apply to everyone, all the time, always. Otherwise, it's just another way for the haves to discriminate against the have nots. But then again, what else is new in Dystopia.....

  • Philadlj Philadlj on Sep 30, 2014

    I guess Chevy hasn't "FOUND NEW ROADS" that lead to states where voice recording without consent is illegal. If legal was consulted about this feature and let it go to market, they should be fired. If the developers of the tech didn't consult legal about this feature and let it go to market, THEY should be fired. Very bizarre oversight. These aren't exactly new laws.

  • Secret Hi5 Secret Hi5 on Sep 30, 2014

    Seems to me that the burden should fall on the Corvette owner to notify the valet, or not use the recording function at all. GM is simply providing a recording device. Think of ALL the devices that are capable of audio recording - It's not the manufacturer who has to be in compliance.