OnStar Hands-Free Calling Will Be Sunset in 2022344
With the proliferation of smartphones, some in-vehicle technology features are going the way of the dodo. The latest victim is the OnStar Phone feature, also known as Hands-Free Calling, which is slated for official retirement in just a few years’ time.
According to GM Authority sources, General Motors plans to sunset the OnStar Hands-Free Calling service in 2022. At that point, all vehicles on the road still equipped with the feature will no longer have the ability to make calls using the OnStar Hands-Free Calling system.
Last year, we exclusively broke the news that General Motors was discontinuing the OnStar Phone Feature. At the time, we spoke with Stephanie Lang, General Motors’ Advanced Technology Communications, OnStar and Connectivity representative, who indicated that GM would discontinue HFC for 2020 model year and newer vehicles.
OnStar HFC was first made available in the late ‘90s, arriving as the industry’s first built-in calling feature provided by an automaker. HFC is separate from the Bluetooth-based hands-free calling system that connects to a smartphone, and is operated primarily through the infotainment screen, or with voice recognition commands. Users could originally purchase minutes through OnStar, and each vehicle was assigned it’s own unique phone number.
Arriving prior to the proliferation of smartphones, and indeed before the proliferation of cell phones in general, the OnStar Hands-Free Calling system was ahead of its time. Even now, with widespread smartphone adoption, the system remains useful for those who prefer not to have a smartphone, but still want to make phone calls on the move.
Unfortunately, the system is now headed for retirement. However, it’s important to note that the Hands-Free Calling feature uses the vehicle’s built-in OnStar system and model, and that Bluetooth smartphone connections, as well as the various features of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, will continue to be available as they are now.
Are you disappointed to learn about the retirement of OnStar HFC? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more OnStar news and ongoing GM news coverage.
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Every comment I read, the positive comments to keep OnStar, are righteously. Why in the world would you take a good product, almost perfect, away from the consumers knowingly that not all cellular service are perfect. If there weren’t any deadzone, then go ahead remove it. But unfortunately, there are deadzone areas. And OnStar is the only, so far, that has save many lives where the cellphones didn’t work. GM, you own OnStar, be smart. Especially now with this pandemic and God knows what is going to hit us in near future, don’t send it to the sunset. In other words, don’t cancel and kick your customers to the curve. At least find another replacement. Consumers don’t forget. Remember that. Cellphone are not too reliable.
Please don’t do away with on star I need it.
It’s useless! Cellphones made it obsolete. It was useless before cellphones too. Certainly not worth the money.
no there are many places cell does NOT work whereas the on star DOES ! read the + comments!
NOT HAPPY. You took away weather and traffic, and now this. Please rethink this idea and leave the hand free calling alone.
Please do not take away ion starPeople need this . Especially until pandemic is over . To many spots where phones don’t work. It was part of idea to purchase Buicks. (I cannot do away without it especially now. Peace iof mind .
What irks me is the fact that purchased minutes, as In I own the On-Star minutes, expires if not used !! In my case the vehicle in question is a fair weather go for a drive car !! With the pandemic raging this past year, the car has been in storage,but alas my purchased minutes have expired !!! What a load of crap!!
Minutes don’t expire, all you got to do is buy more even if it $10 for 30 minutes before the expiration date , then they continue. So if you got 100 minutes left and you buy 30 more before they expire you got 130 minutes for another year.
HFC is main reason I’ve been buying GM cars. It is more reliable than a cell phone. It gets signals when hand held phones can’t. I don’t want or have a smart phone. I’m almost eighty years old and quite happy with my flip phone. You’re the boss, I’m only a customer.
“HFC is main reason I’ve been buying GM cars. It is more reliable than a cell phone. It gets signals when hand held phones can’t. I don’t want or have a smart phone. I’m almost eighty years old and quite happy with my flip phone. You’re the boss, I’m only a customer.”
You do realize OnStar is just AT&T cell service… right?
I’m not referring to what carrier provides the service. It is a matter of convenience for those of us who don’t want smart phones.
I love my OnStar! I travel alone across the USA and always had a way to reach someone if I got lost. I had a TBI 5 years ago and buying this car with Onstar was an answer to my prayers. I don’t care about hands free calling. Just the turn by turn navigation. Which is a good price for just that. I just I will no buy GM anymore.
PLEASE DONT DO AWAY WITH ONSTAR HANDS FREE CALLING! I USE AND LOVE THIS FEATURE! IT WORKS EVERYWHERE AND I DO NOT HAVE A SMART PHONE. I LIKE THAT MY LOVED ONES CAN CALL ME AND I CAN CALL MY TEENAGERS IN THE CAR WITHOUT THEM FUMBLING FOR THE CELL PHONE! HANDS FREE CALLING IS THE FUTURE NOT THE PAST. CELL PHONES ARE NOT HANDS FREE. ITS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF PREVENTABLE ACCIDENTS
My husband hates cell phones. He uses OnStar calling exclusively when he is out on the road. Please reconsider keeping the service. It’s a blessing to have. We have used the service since it first started. Thank You
Cell phones have become such an integral part of our everyday lives I am not sure how you can hate one. To everyone posting here imploring GM to change this decision, it is a waste of time. They have made the decision, it is going to happen and no amount of posting on this or other sites is likely to change that.
Love the hands free calling and the fact I can still call where there is no service. Having onstar is a deciding factor to buy a GM auto or not. Love all features of onstar
DISSAPOINTED AND MAD!
I’m retired and don’t travel, so my need for a cell phone ( I don’t own one) would be for emergencies only. The reassuring hands free calling feature is a safety net in case of trouble while driving. It’s nice to have assistance available without paying the high price and unneeded features of a smart phone. I hope GM reconsiders their decision to end this tool. I gladly pay for minutes even though I may not need to use them.
GM is highly unlikely to change their mind on this. Not many OnStar subscribers use this feature and it is a money loser for them. Just get yourself a cell phone, there are many simple feature phones out there, even flip phones. I’m 61 and not sure how anyone today can get along without a cell phone.
As one of the few people, it seems, that do not own a smart phone, I’m disappointed that Onstar is retiring HFC. I use it a lot. I do have a flip phone, but I only carry it when I have a need to. Now I guess I’ll need to leave it in the car.
I am extremely disappointed to learn about this feature no longer being available. I have been a GMC/Chevrolet customer for many years because of this feature. I encouraged my daughter and nieces to buy GMC/Chevrolet as well because of this feature. As a woman, it is a wonderful safety feature. I frequently forget my Cel phone at home and never worried because I knew I could call from my car. Without this feature, I don’t know if I will pay for OnStar and I certainly will now be free to look at other automakers for future cars.
I’m sorry to hear this! I rarely carry a cell phone anywhere…hate them. Loved being able to catch up w friends/fam using hfc.
Hate that on star is leaving. When we got this car new knowing that on star was there for us was one of the selling point. Why did you do this. We were happy with service. Now I need to get money back for minutes I just purchased.
I find in extremely disappointing. I have used my on star when cell phone couldn’t be used. I think it’s as much a safety feature, worth paying for, that I have chosen vehicles because they have it available. I wish all companies had on star available. I will choose a vehicle for my children based on it.
I’m not renewing. I phoned last week to do so. The rep who was yelling and screaming at me told me I don’t have that feature. I responded that I have an email verification, postal mail confirmation and electronic verification on the payment section on the Cadillac website. She kept screaming at me.
I was put on hold providing me with a comfortable opportunity to end the call.
No more OnStar for me. Last Cadillac. Goof job Ms. Barra!
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