Vauxhall OnStar ..... coming soon to an Astra near you!
This summer will see Vauxhall give away 1 years membership to their OnStar system. It is already used by 7 million people over the United States, Canada, China and Mexico and now the OnStar service centre will be open in Luton every minute of every day of the year.
So what is OnStar?
OnStar connects the driver of a Vauxhall to an OnStar Agent, it’s like your own personal assistant, there to help with whatever you need from directions to roadside assistance. By using a roof antenna a Wi-Fi hotspot is created within the vehicle that will support up to 7 devices. OnStar can be accessed whilst in the car and also while not in the car using the OnStar App.
What can OnStar do?
OnStar can help you in the event of your Vauxhall being stolen, once you have a police crime reference number your OnStar agent can track your vehicle using GPS. To make life even more difficult for those pesky car thieves, OnStar can also send out a remote signal to your Vauxhall to block the engine from starting. Your vehicle can then be recovered and returned to you.
In the event of an accident OnStar can be there to ensure all passengers in the vehicle are safe. As soon as the airbag is deployed an OnStar agent will contact the vehicle to ask if help is required via a hands free speaker phone. If the agent does not get a response the Vauxhall will send a report on the location of the vehicle and emergency services will be sent to the scene.
As well as OnStar agents contacting the vehicle in the event of an accident, there is an SOS button within the car that will connect the vehicle to an OnStar agent when pressed. This can be used if any type of assistance is required, such as a breakdown or if the vehicle occupants have witnessed an accident.
OnStar will also help vehicle owners with vehicle diagnostics. If a warning light presents itself an advisor can assess the car remotely and let the driver know if a mechanic is needed. If mechanical assistance is necessary, OnStar will direct you to your nearest Vauxhall garage by sending the address to the Sat Nav system.
A monthly vehicle diagnostics email will be sent to the owner of the vehicle, or a check can be requested at any time for example for peace of mind before a long journey. Additionally via your smartphone app key diagnostics such as tyre pressure, fuel and oil levels are displayed.
From use of the OnStar app drivers can also say goodbye to the misery of forgetting where they parked! When you are close to your car you can make the lights flash and the horn beep! You can also lock or unlock your vehicle using the app and send a destination to the Sat Nav from your phone.
Do I want my every move to be tracked?
If all this information about your location makes you feel a bit spied upon don’t worry, Vauxhall will let drivers use a privacy button so information on the vehicles location cannot be tracked. This will only be overridden if the vehicle is in an accident, to guide emergency services to the vehicle. For most other services a PIN is needed and Vauxhall assure customers they will never sell on drivers information to an outside company.
The first member of the Vauxhall family to receive OnStar will be the British built Vauxhall Astra. After the free first year the cost is thought to be in the region of £17.50 per month.
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6 July 2015
Written by Natalie Faughy