Why the Corvette's Performance Data Recorder can be illegal in some statesFri, 26 Sep 2014
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.
By Chris Bruce
See also: Chevy Corvette gets Valet Mode with Performance Data Recorder [w/video], GM won't pay owners of recalled cars for lost value, Callaway debuts its new C7 Stingray at National Corvette Museum.