Since 1996, OnStar has been the aftersales service offering of General Motors for its customers across the United States and other countries. It's a subscription-based service that offers communications, in-vehicle security, emergency services, hands-free calling, navigational assistance, and remote diagnostics.
As it is subscription-based, this multitude of services can only be provided if the vehicle owner has an active subscription. But what if there's an emergency situation? Can OnStar extend its services to distressed customers with expired subscriptions?
In an incident that happened in Florida earlier this month, a mother accidentally locked her 10-month-old baby, along with the car keys, inside a white Chevrolet SUV in a 95-degree day.
The mother called OnStar services for help, which she had an expired subscription. The OnStar representative, however, said that she won't be able to restore a connection to the vehicle and unlock the SUV because she had an expired subscription.
Thankfully, police personnel responded for help, while a man in the parking lot also offered help with a window punch tool. The baby was taken out of the vehicle right on time.
While the mother wishes for people to learn from her ordeal, OnStar is facing social media backlash because of its inability to assist in this emergency situation. According to the company's Twitter account, it's in the process of investigating the situation and explained that "once an OnStar plan expires or is canceled, the OnStar system is deactivated and our connection to the vehicle is removed."
"Currently, the only way to activate the system and restore that connection is by pushing the blue OnStar button inside the vehicle. Our advisors cannot restore that connection solely from their end, and without that connection, our systems are unable to deliver OnStar services to the vehicle," OnStar added.