GM warns Chevrolet Corvette spy feature may break law


General Motors is warning Chevrolet Corvette buyers and owners not to use one of the car's most exotic high-tech features because it could inadvertently result in committing a crime in some states.


The feature involves 'Valet Mode,' an aspect of the Performance Data Recorder in the 2015 Corvette. It allows owners to secretly record conversations in their cars and performance data when they're not along for the ride, such as when the car in being parked by a valet.


GM has apparently discovered that secret recordings are illegal in many states.


A notice to dealers explaining the problem was posted last week on CorvetteForum.com, a website for Corvette owners. It says GM is working on a software update, due next month, that should take care of the problem.



New for 2015, the Chevrolet Corvette Valet Mode with Performance Data Recorder allows drivers to lock interior storage, disable the infotainment system, and now record video, audio and vehicle data.(Photo: Chevrolet)


In the meantime, the notice says, 'You must advise any customers who take delivery of an impacted vehicle that they should refrain from using Valet Mode until the update takes place.'


If they choose to use it anyway, they need to make sure anyone in the car is aware their conversations will be recorded and make sure that their consent is obtained.


The notice says that Corvette owners are being contacted.


Besides recording conversations, Valet Mode also shows how the car was driven while in the hands of another. It disables the entertainment system and locks storage compartments to deter thefts. Valet Mode is just one part of the Performance Data Recorder, which has the main purpose of being a fun way for owners to make video and audio recordings of their more exilarating drives in a Corvette, including their choice of some of the car's performance indicators.


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