Turn on your TV and you’ll be inundated with ads for local auto dealers touting the immediate availability of your brand new car. And for many car buyers, once they’ve picked the vehicle they want, it’s not too long before they’re on the road in their new wheels. Of course, if you’re buying something the dealer doesn’t have in stock, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer. But one Consumerist reader wants to know why his new truck has been sitting in an Ohio rail yard for nearly two months. [More]
It can be terrifying when an elderly relative vanishes. One New York man who recently went missing was fortunate to be in a car with an emergency device equipped, and to know how to reach help — but the help then chose not to help him at all, leaving his family mystified about the response.
As we saw last week, the ability to remotely take control of a vehicle is a very real concern. While Fiat Chrysler recalled nearly 1.4 million vehicles and issued a patch related to some of its internet-connected cars, another automaker is now sitting in the precarious spot of potential hijack victim, as a hacker claims he can commandeer any of the company’s vehicles as long as they come with the OnStar system. [More]
On Tuesday, we posted about a blogger who locked her daughter and keys in her vehicle, then contacted OnStar to see whether the service could remotely open the doors for her. We spoke to an OnStar representative, who explained to us that when a car owner chooses not to join or renew OnStar, the cellular device inside the car gets deactivated. [More]
When is it a moral imperative for a company to make an exception for someone? What if you’re a company that provides subscription-based in-car emergency services, and someone who chose not to subscribe calls you with an emergency?
Last year, OnStar used its platform at the Consumer Electronics Show to announce that it was finally going to make its service available for installation in vehicles that were not made by General Motors. This year, the company showed it wants to branch out from its established position in the crash-response/locked-out-of-my-car industry by announcing a partnership with Verizon Wireless that could be bringing all sorts of other content to your car via 4G LTE.
Less than a week after it was revealed that OnStar was going to change its Terms and Conditions statement to allow the service to keep tracking customers’ vehicles even after they cancel their subscription, the company has bowed to the massive negative reaction and decided to, uh, not do that.
OnStar sent around an email to users this week letting them know they’ll be keeping close tabs on their cars, even if they cancel the service. The navigation-and-emergency service will keep tracking your car, and the company is reserving the right to anonymously resell the collected data to third parties.
General Motors has finally realized that its hands-free OnStar communications system might work better as a retail item than simply as a way to entice customers to purchase GM vehicles. At a press conference on Tuesday night, the company announced it has partnered with Best Buy to sell an after-market version that can be installed in non-GM cars and trucks.
Because there is nothing more important for GM to improve with their vehicles, the car company has begun testing a functionality that would allow Facebook-addicted drivers to tell everyone “I can’t believe Prince Poppycock made it through to the finals on America’s Got Talent!!!” without having to take their hands off the steering wheel.
People who drive fewer than 15,000 miles per year can save 13-54% on their GMAC insurance premiums under a GMAC Insurance’s new Low-Mileage Discount. All you have to do is opt-in to let OnStar monitor your mileage. The average annual vehicle mileage is about 12,000 miles, according to the Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Review ’06, so it looks like most people with GMAC insurance and OnStar could save under OnStar’s Low-Mileage Discount Program. With the need to save every dollar on your car, this could be a good program for eligible drivers to check out by calling 1-800-GMAC-123 or going to gmacinsurance.com.
Reader Charlie writes in with a complaint about Acura and OnStar. Charlie has a 2003 Acura TL that came equipped with OnStar. Usually he renews for 2 years at a time, but this time something was wrong. OnStar wouldn’t let him renew because his Acura had an analog OnStar system, and due to a FCC ruling, the wireless carriers that provide service to OnStar will no longer be required to maintain analog networks.