All 2014 model year GM vehicles equipped for OnStar service are gaining new standard features accessible via the automaker’s RemoteLink smartphone app.
Owners will be given access to remote start, unlocking, headlight and horn features found in its OnStar RemoteLink mobile app free of charge for five years. What’s more, it works even if owners don’t subscribe to other OnStar services.
“GM owners request remote door unlock assistance through OnStar more than 60,000 times each month, so it makes sense for us to offer RemoteLink Key Fob Services to enable customers to lock, unlock or start their vehicle from anywhere they have a wireless or cellular connection,” GM Global Connected Consumer president Mary Chan said.
GM said all 36 of its models that will benefit from the service. That’s true, but it’s important for consumers to realize that there will still be some cars missing out.
Even the entry-level Spark LS doesn’t get power locks and can’t come with a remote start system, so people buying that trim package won’t benefit from the app.
In other words, the smartphone application won’t compensate for mechanical equipment that just isn’t there.
Downloading the application is free and five-year usage period begins upon delivery of the vehicle. That still doesn’t allow access to the app’s full suite of functions. Users will still need to pay if they want to remotely monitor their vehicle’s operating systems like oil life, remaining fuel, tire pressure, fuel economy and more.
“What’s great about the RemoteLink Key Fob Services is that it works far beyond the range of a traditional key fob, which can come in handy in a number of situations,” Chan said.
Update: After this story was published, a GM Spokeswoman said the company hasn’t decided what will happen after the initial five-year period expires.