Scrooge OnStar Safety (SOS) Story

Scrooge OnStar Safety (SOS) Story

December, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

GM has deliberately designed a defective SOS System based on the principle of Pay or Die.  More than a decade ago, I recall an OnStar response to a NHTSA question, that shocked some of us as callous, that if the subscription was not up to date OnStar would not help.

Here is the latest example.  Amy Hudak of ABC News affiliate 13WHAM Rochester, NY reports:

“Greece, N.Y. — One week from Christmas, Tom Michaels did not think he would spend the holiday with his father-in-law.

89-year-old Anthony DePinto was declared missing after leaving his home Thursday on Paula Red Lane in Greece nearly 13 hours earlier.

He did not have a cell phone with him, but knew enough to push the OnStar button in his Chevy. DePinto told 13WHAM News that OnStar picked up and told him he did not have a subscription.

“They told him there was nothing they could do because he didn’t have a subscription,” DePinto’s son-in-law Tom Michaels said. “They would not let him call home, they would not let him call in the emergency.”

A massive state-wide search began and Anthony’s picture was displayed nearly everywhere….”

“The family is pushing for OnStar to change their ways and their priorities.

“They could definitely make a 911 call. There is no excuse – it’s unacceptable,” Michaels said.

Anthony and his family are fortunate for a happy ending, having their dad back home and safe with the family, but said the outcome could have been far worse.

“A lot of people who are elderly go missing and it’s not a good ending,” Michaels said.

13WHAM News did reach out to OnStar. They apologized for the experience and said if you’re not a subscriber, their computers cannot locate the car. In that case, they call authorities. OnStar added they were not sure whether or not Anthony DePinto’s emergency call was passed on to police.” See  and GM has sold variations of this “defective by design” system since 1996 to a poorly informed public. What is worse is that since 1997 when the life saving potential of Automatic Crash Notification (ACN) and URGENCY software was developed by NHTSA researchers – before NHTSA became a captive agency, the agency still has not set a safety standard for such systems.  See numerous papers on ACN & URGENCY at  
GM and NHTSA have failed to provide the public the protection available and needed for decades.


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