GM's OnStar Service Planned For 3 Million Cars In '06 - InformationWeek

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GM's OnStar Service Planned For 3 Million Cars In '06

GM is expanding the number of cars that can support the wireless satellite service--up from 1.4 million now.

General Motors says it will equip 3 million model-year 2006 vehicles in North America with its in-vehicle OnStar telematics system.

The number of cars with OnStar will grow from 1.4 million in 2004 models to 2.2 million in 2005. Today, GM makes in the United States about 5.5 million cars. OnStar is factory-installed and currently available on about 50 models. Some models still cannot accommodate OnStar hardware. GM says the service eventually will be available in all its models.

Each month OnStar receives more than 700 air-bag notifications following crashes. It also receives about 11,000 emergency assistance calls, and responds to about 600 stolen vehicle location requests, 19,000 requests for roadside assistance, 35,000 remote door-unlock requests, and 18,000 remote diagnostic requests.

The telematics system also is used to collaborate with organizations such as the American Red Cross and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"We've had more than 50 million interactions to date with customers across the United States and Canada," OnStar president Chet Huber says. GM launched its OnStar subsidiary in 1996. About 60% of subscribers continue service after the first year, Huber says.

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