General Motors and OnStar now are offering vehicle diagnostic services to subscribers at no extra charge, according to Automotive News.
The service will automatically perform hundreds of diagnostic checks on GM vehicles in four of the vehicle's operating systems: the engine/transmission, antilock brakes, airbags, and OnStar. OnStar will e-mail the results to the owner each month. The e-mail message will tell subscribers whether something needs to be fixed and encourage the owner to hit the OnStar button in the vehicle to follow up with an OnStar technician for guidance. Ultimately, the service is intended to give consumers peace of mind and boost GM customer loyalty.The vehicle diagnostics technology will add to the conquest and loyalty rate among customers for GM vehicles, says Chet Huber, OnStar president. Anecdotal data from dealers show that OnStar, which GM owns, has helped generate about 20 percent of showroom traffic this year, twice last year’s rate, Huber says. OnStar is a factor in a customer's decision to buy a vehicle, added Mark LaNeve, vice president of GM's vehicle sales, service and marketing LaNeve. Nearly 30,000 times a month, OnStar subscribers use the remote diagnostics service to check vehicle performance problems or ask questions. Huber estimates 75 percent of OnStar subscribers will opt to use the diagnostics service, which is available with basic OnStar service. OnStar is free during the first year of vehicle ownership. After that, the basic service costs $16.95 a month.