As many General Motors owners know, OnStar will automatically call you in the event of a crash, asking to make sure the vehicle occupants are alright and offering to call emergency services if you need it.
This works through the live vehicle data transmissions that OnsStar gets, which uses a number of different factors to tell operators when you’ve (probably) been in an accident. It’s a system that has saved lives and it usually works just as designed.
Automobile Magazine recently experienced a bit of an OnStar blunder, though. Former Cadillac Racing driver Andy Pilgrim, who does some timed lapping and other performance driving duties for the publication, was recently lapping a Corvette ZR1 for the Automobile team at the NCM Motorsports Park. Pilgrim knows the track well and has plenty of experience behind the wheel of Corvettes, so naturally, he was wheeling the 755 hp Corvette ZR1 pretty hard.
Pilgrim was pushing so hard, OnStar’s system falsely detected that he had been in an accident of some sort. As Automobile explains, there was something about the g-forces and acceleration/deceleration rates that tricked the system into detecting an impact that wasn’t there. OnStar ends up calling Pilgrim back a couple of times as the championship race car driver shouts over the V8 engine and tries to explain that he’s “on a race track!”
Pilgrim is braking from nearly 150 mph for Turn 1 at the NCM in the Corvette ZR1, so with those kind of g-forces at play, it’s not hard to imagine how it fooled OnStar’s system. Chevrolet says this doesn’t happen often, though. It has recorded one other instance of it – interestingly also with a ZR1 with Pilgrim behind the wheel and also at the NCM circuit.
Check out the video embedded above and, if you’re interested, check out our Corvette ZR1 news page.