The Corvette is the kind of car that could easily get you into big trouble with the law. It’s so tempting to go too fast in a car that slick, but even if you obey the speed limit and every other law of the road, you could still find yourself in big trouble. The reason has nothing to do with your driving, but with the Performance Data Recorder (PDR).
The PDR is a nifty bit of tech that lets owners track all sorts of specifics about how they’re driving out on the track so that they can improve their skills with each new lap. That’s all well and good, but Chevy also gave it something called Valet Mode and that’s where the trouble starts.
Valet Mode is designed to let owners keep track of what happens with their beloved ‘Vette when it’s in the hands of a untrustworthy valet. It will record audio, video, and telemetry so owners can see if someone was busy doing high-speed laps with the stereo blasting while they were enjoying their dinner. Unfortunately, there are laws about recording audio and Valet Mode breaks those laws, depending on the state.
It’s perfectly okay to record video, but in 15 states it is illegal to record audio of someone without consent. This means that anyone operating Valet Mode in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, or Washington is breaking the law.
Chevy is taking quick action, starting by notifying dealers so that they can then instruct any customers who buy affected cars that they should not use the Valet Mode. They’re also sending letters to those who’ve already purchased their cars.
This doesn’t mean that Valet Mode is dead, just that it needs a few adjustments to be legal in those last 13 states. There will be a system update that will take care of the issue, but Chevy hasn’t said exactly when or how it’ll fix the problem. Perhaps a simple legal disclaimer, similar to the ones that pop up and tell you not to mess with your car’s infotainment when you’re driving, will be attached to that Valet Mode.
In the meantime, Corvette owners will just have to hope that they only get responsible, well-behaved valets.