GM’s OnStar facing social media backlash over baby in locked car in Florida

GM’s OnStar facing social media backlash over baby in locked car in Florida
Evan James Carter, The Detroit News Published 9:32 p.m. ET Aug. 14, 2019

General Motor’s OnStar service faced a flurry of backlash on social media Wednesday after reports that it was unable to unlock a vehicle with a baby inside in Florida on Tuesday.

A Florida woman accidentally locked her keys and her 10-month-old child in her vehicle on Tuesday. When the woman called OnStar for help in remotely unlocking her vehicle, she was told that in-vehicle services provider was unable to unlock her SUVbecause her account had expired, according to a CBS Miami online report.

In a statement on Twitter, OnStar said that it was investigating the details of the incident and that, currently, the only way for a customer to activate the system and restore a connection once their account expired is by pushing the blue OnStar button inside the vehicle.

ABC News
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@ABC
· Aug 13, 2019
MINUTES OF FEAR: Police body camera footage shows a mother in Florida begin to panic after locking her baby daughter and keys inside an SUV in 95-degree heat.

Luckily, the officer was able to shatter the window with a hammer and free the child. https://abcn.ws/2FLyzTu

Embedded video

OnStar
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@OnStar
We’re hoping to clear up some confusion we’re seeing about OnStar services. Our number one priority is the safety of our customers, and we take these situations very seriously. We are in the process of investigating the details of this incident. 1/5

1
12:25 PM – Aug 14, 2019
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OnStar’s statement also said that once an OnStar plan expires or is cancelled, the OnStar system is deactivated and its connection to the vehicle is removed.

But the backlash was severe: People sounded off on Twitter about their frustration with OnStar’s inability to unlock the vehicle of someone with an expired account.

Stephen Hurwitz
@HurwitzStephen
@OnStar If somebody’s daughter is locked in a car, you should help them get her out. Even if her account is expired. It’s the humanitarian thing to do.

12:22 PM – Aug 14, 2019
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Roking
@king_rob2211
@OnStar I viewed the story on ABC World News Tonight, and you guys couldn’t open the car door to save a child because of an expired account. Proof that our purchase of 2 Tesla’s was a smart move!

7:11 PM – Aug 13, 2019
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I Rise
@DivabrickI
@OnStar shame on you for not helping the young mother who had locked her child in the car and she had your feature and you wouldn’t open the car door just because her account has expired shame on you #happened in Miami. The child could have died. Shame on you!!

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5:53 PM – Aug 13, 2019 · Pinellas Park, FL
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OnStar launched in 1996 primarily as a safety feature, delivering a suite of emergency response services, navigation and various other connections. Today, OnStar offers automatic crash response, emergency and crisis assist services, stolen vehicle recovery and roadside assistance. OnStar dispatchers have responded to everything from fender-benders to heart attacks and births, according to the company.

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