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Auto blogMon, 29 Jul 2013 16:00:00 EST
General Motors hadn't had a recall in India since 1995. That changed when it was discovered that certain employees were playing tricks with local emissions testing in order to ensure passing grades for engines. More than ten GM Powertrain employees in India and the US have been let go over the ensuing emissions flap, including Sam Winegarden, VP of global engine engineering, a man who has been with the company since 1969, leading development of some marquee powerplants.
According to Automotive News, an internal investigation revealed that employees "violated testing procedures," sometimes swapping specially prepared low-emissions engines during testing regimes for the Chevrolet Tavera SUV equipped with the 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter engines. Employees were also manipulating weights in order to get vehicles placed into different emissions categories. The discovery has led to GM recall the 114,000 Taveras produced over an eight-year period and halting their production and sale.
The Economic Times of India reports that the issue is due to "a faulty component." GM has developed a solution to the issue, and once it is validated in testing and approved by the Indian authorities, the recalled vehicles will be fixed at dealers and production will resume.
The new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has picked up another buff book accolade after capturing Road and Track's Performance Car of the Year award. The seventh-generation of America's sports car (sorry Viper, Mustang, et al.) has been named Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year.
Automobile's award to the Corvette over competitors is the mirror image of its rival Motor Trend, which named the Cadillac CTS its car of the year over the C7. The CTS was, according to the Automobile team, the closest contender to the mighty Stingray. Great news all around for General Motors it seems.
As for what pushed the Corvette past its distant, four-door cousin, Automobile commended its excellent, 6.2-liter V8 calling the car's performance "simply awesome" while also remarking that it is easier to drive fast than ever before thanks to steering and chassis tweaks. Following a theme set by other publications, there were also plaudits for the interior, of all things, with the buff book complimenting the car's ergonomics and material quality, while also praising the standard seats.
The Performance Data Recorder with Valet Mode available on the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray seems like a fantastic tool for many owners. Whether they are taking 720p video while lapping the track in their new 'Vette, or just want to protect their purchase from inconsiderate joyriders, the system offers a lot of functionality in one package. However, one of the PDR's features might get buyers in trouble with the law, and it has nothing to do with recording some illicit high-speed driving on a favorite back road. The problem hinges on the various state laws concerning a person's right to privacy.
According to a letter posted by Jalopnik, Chevy dealers are asking 2015 Corvette owners not to use the Valet Mode portion of the PDR because it records audio in the cabin, in addition to performance specs. That's a problem because privacy laws vary from state to state with some requiring just one side's consent to tape sound and others requiring all parties to agree. According Jalopnik, 15 states mandate everyone's permission beforehand, but it's not clear whether these numbers are up to date. (Actually, the report varies, saying 13 states in some places and 15 in a list.)
According to the letter, Chevy is already working on a software update for the near future to rectify the issue. It's possible that simply adding a warning to drivers and the ability to turn off the audio recording function in Valet Mode might solve the problem. Obviously, this doesn't preclude Corvette drivers from using the performance aspect of the PDR, and owners are free tape lap after lap at the track.