Tags: corvette | GM | Valet Camera | Privacy laws | recordings

GM Warns Recording Feature on Corvettes is Illegal in Some States

By    |   Monday, 29 Sep 2014 02:20 PM

Don't trust that teenage parking valet not to take your brand new pricey Corvette for a joyride while you're at dinner and a movie? General Motors has come up with new technology to solve that situation — the only problem is that in some states the advanced technology may be illegal.

Called "Valet Mode" or the "Performance Data Recorder" (PDR), the new device breaks privacy laws in several states by recording conversations and performance data without letting the unwary parking valet in on the fact that he's being recorded, reports The Courier-Journal.

In a letter to owners of the new 'Vettes, Alicia S. Boler-Davis, senior vice president of global quality and customer experience for GM, warned 2015 Corvette owners that GM plans to install a "very important update" in the near future to get around the illegality.

"In the meantime, you should refrain from using the Valet Mode feature until the update takes place. If you do use the Valet Mode, you should (1) notify any occupants of the vehicle that they will be recorded while in the vehicle and (2) obtain their consent to this recording," Engadget reported.

GM also alerted on the website Corvette Forum, "To help our customers use the Performance Data Recorder consistent with legal requirements that pertain to audio recording devices, we will be requiring a very important update to the system of each affected vehicle in the near future. We expect that the update will be available early next month. At that time, we will provide details about the update and let you know what steps you need to take, if any, to complete the update for vehicles in your inventory."

According to AutoEvolution, the PDR unit primarily violates audio recording laws, such as those that apply to the recording of telephone conversations when only one party is aware of the recoding., The PDR is illegal in 12 states, including New Hampshire, Florida, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Pennsylvania, Washington, Nevada and Illinois.

Using the gadget, drivers also can lock interior compartments to deter theft and shut down the entertainment system features.

A camera mounted in the windshield trim can spot unsuspecting parking valets, should they decide to take the car out for a spin while the owners are away, and the device also records the car's speed, RPMs and gear positions.

Owners can view the data immediately on the car's video screen or download for later viewing on a computer.

It adds $1,795 to the $54,000 minimum price tag of the Corvettes, and product manager Harlan Charles said, "Think of it as a baby monitor for your car. Anyone who has felt apprehension about handing over their keys will appreciate the peace of mind of knowing exactly what happened while their baby was out of sight."

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Don't trust that teenage parking valet not to take your brand new pricey Corvette for a joyride while you're at dinner and a movie? General Motors has come up with new technology to solve that situation - the only problem is that in some states the advanced technology may be illegal.
corvette, GM, Valet Camera, Privacy laws, recordings
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2014-20-29
Monday, 29 Sep 2014 02:20 PM
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