General Motors will turn off service to nearly 500,000 customers as of December of this year.
OnStar, sold exclusively through GM cars and trucks, sent out letters shocking some customers: The letter opens with news of "an upcoming change to your service," which by the end, is revealed to mean no service at all: "We at OnStar regret that we will not be able to provide OnStar service to your vehicle after December 31, 2007." It goes on to offer OnStar users a free year of service -- but only if they buy or lease a new GM vehicle.
The change is in part due to the cellular industry. A ruling by the Federal Communications Commission back in 2002 allows cell phone companies to turn off their analog networks in 2008 and switch to digital technology.
That's bad news for OnStar users whose GM cars were made pre-2002, and some made between 2002 and 2004, because the service at that time relied solely on analog service, and electrical systems in the cars in question cannot be upgraded to digital.
The class-action lawsuit efforts have also begun -- filed by at least two OnStar users.
NOTE: KNWA is looking for a customer that received this letter, and will no longer have the OnStar service at the end of this year. If you are a customer or know one, send us an e-mail: email@example.com
To read the FCC decision, click here.
To find out if your car is not eligible for the upgrade using your VIN number, click here.