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That means that owners of GM products that carry analog technology to power their OnStar systems are now considered "outdated" and the world's largest automaker will drop them from the safety and communications system.
In 2008 newer digital systems will be the only way OnStar can communicate since the country's cell phone carriers, which carry OnStar's signals on their towers, will complete the changeover to digital service.
GM will no longer be able to keep up with or keep track of some of the company's best and oldest customers like Lisa of Saint Louis.
"I received a letter indicating that the factory-installed OnStar in my 2001 Buick Regal will no longer be functional because they are upgrading their system," she wrote ConsumerAffairs.com "I purchased this car because of this feature and now it will no longer work and they will not upgrade it to work"
"I have 45,000 miles on my car with a extended warranty for 100,000 or 10 years whichever comes first. What do I do now?" Lisa wants to know.
"The only thing GM said is that they will give me $500 towards the purchase of a new car," said Lisa, who was not impressed with the offer.
"I don't want a new car, I just want my existing OnStar service to work. From what I understand they would just have to install a new digital radio for this to work, but they are not willing to do so."
OnStar services include monitoring emergencies and vehicle diagnostics, and giving directions and noting which airbags were deployed and the intensity of any impact before notifying paramedics of an accident. The service costs about $199 a year.
Some soon-to-be-abandoned OnStar subscribers are suing GM because the automaker refuses to offer an upgrade for their system. As many as 500,000 of OnStar's 4 million subscribers are in the same predicament.
If your vehicle is a 2003, 2004, or 2005, you will need to update your OnStar system. An adapter will cost approximately $200. If your vehicle is a 2002 or older, there is no adapter available.
That's where Don finds himself and his 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe -- up a shallow creek in Long Beach, California.
"I was told that GM chose not to offer an upgrade but I was invited to purchase a new car," he wrote ConsumerAffairs.com. "No discount on the car, but 2 years free of OnStar by GM."
"What a slap in the face," Don said.
In a given month OnStar receives 900 automatic airbag notifications, helps with 500 stolen vehicles, connects 15,000 emergency calls, provides 44,000 remote door unlocks, takes 25,000 roadside assistance calls, receives 5,500 good Samaritan calls, offers 32,000 remote diagnostics and facilitates 12.6 million hands-free calls.
OnStar works much like a cell phone. Push the button and a signal is sent to a cell tower.
FCC rules require that cell towers support both digital and analog signals. But as of 2008, cell towers will no longer have to support analog so OnStar is disconnecting its analog equipment.
GM dealerships say there's nothing they can do.
OK thank you for letting me know you are aware of the transition
I just finished up with On Star over the phone and You will need to go to GM for them to hook up thier scan tool to update your hardware. Cost is $ 15.00 hardware upgrade. Plus if you need On Star it is $199.00 a year subscription. Costumer Assistance to GM is 1-866-552-9559 . When GM upgrades your Radio the "Cell" will be gone and all function of the radio and player will be back to normal. All Radio stations are going digital, some are working on digital from analog, and this upgrade will give you the best sound to date and a lot more features, if you choose, in and for your everyday needs.
I wish you luck, Kind Regards, XXXXX XXXXX