OnStar Coming to More Cars

OnstarmirrorGeneral Motors has considered OnStar a strategic advantage for its cars versus the competition; you can get the service pairing live operators with an onboard device only in a new GM car or truck. Its most well-known feature is the much-advertised emergency response, where a stranded motorist talks with an operator until help arrives.
Now for $299, virtually any car will be able to get a stand-alone rearview mirror with OnStar built in. They’ll be sold at Best Buy this spring with installation costing between $75 and $100.

Of course, just like with OnStar in GM vehicles, the device is just one part of the equation. Buyers will have to pay for the service either monthly for $18.95 or annually for $199. Right now, only 20 of the most popular-selling cars are certified to work with the mirror, but GM will certify more models before the mirror goes on sale.

Even though the stand-alone OnStar system isn’t tied into your car’s electronic system for crash response, an accelerometer in the mirror will trigger a crash response if the car comes to a sudden stop similar to that of a front, rear or side collision. This likely won’t be as accurate as the system equipped in GM vehicles, but there is a red cross-emblazoned button on the mirror that drivers can press to call the service.
The blue OnStar button is there, too, to dial up turn-by-turn navigation, roadside assistance and hands-free calling. You can buy minutes from OnStar and use the mirror as your phone, assisted by an operator. Or you can use the mirror’s built-in Bluetooth to pair with your cell phone; a microphone and a speaker are in the mirror.
We wonder if competing manufacturers or their dealers will start offering the mirror as a dealer-installed option. Let us know what you think. Would you be more interested in the OnStar service if it were available in any car?
By David Thomas | January 5, 2011 | Comments (5)



This is a smart move by OnStar. As any business manager knows, distribution is everything, and this will open up a lot more business for them. The integrated hands-free phone is perhaps the most useful feature. Question is, how many people (who are sick of stroking checks for their cell phones, cable, satellite radio, etc.) will stomach the monthly fee for the service?


I wouldn't mind writing an extra check for the service. There is no price for a life with automatic crash responce for emergency persons if you are unable to call yourself. I loved my moms Tahoe with this feature. So glad I will be able to add it to my current cars.

For me I like Fords keyless entry, no monthly fee and I don't have to call & wait to open doors. That assumes person has a phone to call. The only other option I'd use is a GPS system, not sure if it's part of MYSYNC or not, most likely. Could continue to use a stand alone unit to avoid yearly fee. As far as OnStar being in accident and calling, most accidents would involve others, someone would have phone to make call. So having to pay for Onstar just make a call when accident happens bad enough, IF no one else is around to do it, not worth it for me.


Can't they put it somewhere else than the mirror? With OnStar, you cannot put a mirror extender on the rearview mirror.



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