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DATE News (chronologically)
05/10/07
industry news
GM sued over OnStar change
A disgruntled Cadillac owner, whose OnStar service will go dead next year as a result of upgrades to General Motors Corp.'s peace-of-mind roadside assistance feature, filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the automaker.

Robert Weaver of Virginia bought a new Cadillac El Dorado in 2002 equipped with GM's OnStar, a much-advertised communication system that links motorists with live operators who can offer driving directions and emergency help.

Weaver is among 1.5 million owners who will be affected when OnStar completes its switch from an analog system to a more current digital network.

While newer GM vehicles are equipped with digital receivers, many older models are not, meaning they will lose OnStar when the analog service shuts down starting next year. Some vehicles made between 2002 and 2004 can be upgraded, but all pre-2002 models will become obsolete.

GM says about 500,000 vehicles have analog systems that can't be upgraded and 1 million have digital-capable systems. A small number of Acura, Audi, Subaru and Volkswagen models are affected.

The switch is a result of a 2002 Federal Communications Commission decision to let cell phone companies shutter their analog networks starting in February. OnStar is carried by Verizon Wireless.

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