The OnStar Hands-Free Calling feature will be discontinued in February of the 2022 calendar year, GM Authority has confirmed. As such, vehicles equipped with the OnStar Hands-Free Calling feature will no longer have the ability to make calls using the OnStar Hands-Free Calling system.
Senior Manager, OnStar and Infotainment Communications, Stephanie Obendorfer, commented on the decision to discontinue the OnStar Hands-Free Calling feature, telling GM Authority:
“We routinely evaluate our services to provide the best experience for our members. In this spirit, we have decided to discontinue Hands-Free Calling starting in February 2022.”
Obendorfer added that vehicles equipped with Bluetooth pairing will continue to function as before, allowing customers with smartphones to use hands-free calling through their smartphone instead.
“Members can use Bluetooth pairing to make phone calls while keeping their hands on the wheel,” Obendorfer told GM Authority.
Back in June of 2020, GM Authority exclusively reported that General Motors was gearing up to sunset the OnStar Hands-Free Calling service in 2022. The report followed another GM Authority exclusive the year prior that General Motors was set to discontinue the OnStar Hands-Free Calling feature.
OnStar Hands-Free Calling was first offered to customers in the ‘90s. As the industry’s first built-in calling feature provided by an automaker, OnStar Hands-Free Calling preceded the proliferation of smartphones, and was available to customers who purchased minutes through OnStar. As such, the system was considered ahead of its time, and even now, the system is useful for those customers who prefer not to have a smartphone, but still wish to make phone calls from their vehicle.
However, as stated above, the discontinuation of the OnStar Hands-Free Calling feature does not preclude customers from using features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to connect their smartphone and make phone calls using the onboard Bluetooth system. Nevertheless, it seems inevitable that some customers will still be disappointed by the news that OnStar Hands-Free Calling is set for discontinuation early next year.