Aside from testing for top speed, it’s not often that using a new car’s features could land you with a hefty fine or a stint in jail—but that could be the case with the 2015 Chevy Corvette Stingray’s new Valet Mode for its Performance Data Recorder system.
The issue with the system revolves around the legality of recording audio of someone without their knowledge. While it might seem common sense that a valet shouldn’t expect privacy while driving a customer’s car, the law is, or at least can be, a bit more picky.
In a letter to dealers, published by Corvette Blogger, GM has issued a notice about the matter, indicating a software update is on the way—one that will presumably disable audio recording in Valet Mode. Video recording the occupants of the car shouldn’t cross any laws in the U.S., nor should the other advantageous features of the Valet Mode system, intended to limit speeds and restrict access to interior storage among other functions.
Chevy has also asked existing owners of cars with the new PDR system to refrain from use until the vehicle can be updated with the new software.
Currently, about a dozen states require two-party (or all-party) consent for audio recording. The other states require only one-party consent, which effectively makes the Valet Mode PDR system legal to use as currently implemented. The states requiring two-party or all-party consent are: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington (state); in Illinois, Michigan, and Nevada the matter can be complicated, depending on the context or circumstances.
Chevy has not yet responded to a request for comment, but stay tuned for updates.