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One year after its launch, OnStar – which is based at Vauxhall’s HQ in Luton - is now expanding into 18 additional markets through Europe, as its existing customers make even greater use of the services available in Vauxhall and Opel cars.

The innovative personal connectivity and service assistant, which has recorded over 5.5 million customer interactions since launch, will now cover the following additional markets: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. The roll-out of the Wi-Fi hotspot service also continues, with Austria, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Portugal and Romania joining existing markets (UK, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain). OnStar now offers its unique service (availability of individual functions subject to model and variant) in 19 languages.

OnStar’s multi-million interactions have come from customers making contact by phone, smartphone app, the OnStar website or the blue OnStar service button. Through October 2016, OnStar received around 880,000 calls from customers and sent 830,000 monthly vehicle diagnostics emails. On the internet, customers logged into the dedicated OnStar web portal more than one million times and launched the app more than 3.1 million times.

In the UK alone, Vauxhall customers have launched the My Vauxhall smartphone app nearly half a million times, with approaching one million interactions recorded from owners of Vauxhall passenger cars. By next year it’s anticipated that around two out of three new Vauxhalls will be equipped with OnStar.

‘OnStar is proving hugely popular with Vauxhall and Opel customers across the UK and Europe,’ said Brian McCreavy, Regional Manager, OnStar Europe. ‘People really appreciate the convenience and peace of mind offered by OnStar’s services, which is clear to see from the interactions to date. So it goes without saying that we’re looking forward to bringing these new markets into our family.’

Vauxhall OnStar is popular with media as well as with customers. OnStar accolades include Auto Express’s Technology Award, Car Buyer’s Best Safety Innovation and the innovation award at the BusinessCar Techies 2015.

Vauxhall OnStar connects customers to a trained advisor – not to a machine. Charlotte Tyson, for example, was involved in a head-on collision with another car. As the airbags in her Corsa deployed, vehicle sensors automatically alerted an OnStar advisor who notified the emergency services and stayed with her on the phone until they arrived at the scene of the accident.

Vauxhall OnStar not only automatically responds to crashes and helps locate stolen vehicles, the personal connectivity and service assistant also remotely locks or unlocks doors, downloads destinations directly to the factory-installed navigation system and sends emails about vehicle condition. An additional 4G/LTE Wi-Fi hotspot* is optionally available.

The most popular service – with about 3.1 million launches around Europe – is the

My Vauxhall/Opel smartphone app, which users can download from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store respectively. The app’s most frequently used features so far are remote locking/unlocking of doors, online vehicle location and honking the vehicle’s horn and flashing the lights. Customers can also call up important data such as oil life or tyre pressures, send destinations to the in-car navigation system (if installed) and manage the additional Wi-Fi  hotspot*, which allows up to seven devices to connect to the vehicle.

Via OnStar and the My Vauxhall app, drivers can conveniently programme their car’s onboard navigation system from their smartphone. They simply enter the destination on their phone or select it from the address book and send it to their car at the push of a button. Separately, drivers can now add useful comments to the Vehicle Location function, and even a photo, to help them find the car again. In order to avoid parking fines, My Vauxhall app users can set a timer to remind them when the parking time expires.

Vauxhall OnStar additionally assists vehicle owners and police in case a vehicle with the system is stolen. Stolen Vehicle Assistance enables Vauxhall OnStar to work closely with police to recover the car quickly and safely and return it to its rightful owner. Ignition Block allows Vauxhall OnStar to send a remote signal to the vehicle that prevents the engine from starting once it has been reported stolen.

Vauxhall OnStar is optional or part of the standard equipment with selected trim levels on most passenger cars. Usage of the service is free of charge during the first 12 months, followed by an annual subscription fee of £89.50*. The Wi-Fi hotspot  service can be tested free of charge for up to three months or 3 GB of data volume usage whichever comes first.  Subsequent Wi-Fi data packages are available for purchase after this point*.

*The OnStar Services and 4G WiFi require activation and are subject to mobile network coverage and availability.  The OnStar subscription packages could be different from the services included in the free trial package.

Wi-Fi Hotspot service requires account with nominated network operator. Charges apply after the free trial period.