General Motors' OnStar service debuted in 1996, just as cell phones were evolving from expensive, ugly, shoe-sized appliances into sleeker, trimmer accessories that could easily be stowed in a pocket or purse. OnStar's premise of embedding that kind of anytime, anywhere communications technology in a car was game-changing and very, very exciting.
Just like mobile phones, OnStar has itself evolved over the past 19 years, remaining relevant as so many other tech companies have fallen by the wayside. One of the company's newest offerings is a safety feature that notifies owners in the unlikely event that their vehicles are being stolen. It's already available for Buick, Cadillac, and GMC models, and it's now available on Chevrolet vehicles, too.
The feature is called "Theft Alarm Notification". Working in tandem with other OnStar services like Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, Theft Alarm Notification boosts the chances that owners will get their cars back after the bad guys (or girls) try to make off with them.
If you're an OnStar subscriber, you can opt-in to Theft Alarm Notification and select how you'd like to be notified when a would-be thief triggers your car alarm. You can choose to receive a text message, email, or phone call. Then,
"OnStar advisors will work with local authorities and use GPS technology to pinpoint the vehicle’s location. In certain models, if the conditions are safe, advisors can send a signal to slow down the vehicle, aiding police officers in its recovery and preventing a potential high-speed chase."
GM says that Theft Alarm Notification is part of OnStar's Stolen Vehicle Assistance service, which is included as part of the Security and Guidances subscription packages. Most Chevrolet vehicles from model-year 2014 and later are compatible with the service. If you're an OnStar subscriber and want to see if Theft Alarm Notification will work on your vehicle, check this PDF or call OnStar.