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Milestones: 100 Million OnStar Diagnostics E-mails

Using telematics and the web to help drivers save millions on auto maintenance and recover stolen vehicles.

by on Aug.18, 2009

One of 3.5 million customers checks an email from OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics.

One of 3.5 million customers checks an email from OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics.

OnStar has sent its 100,000,000th Vehicle Diagnostics e-mail to a subscriber, noting what it calls “a significant milestone for the service. Vehicle Diagnostics is a technology that connects drivers to their vehicles by sending a  snapshot of current vehicle diagnostic data to the email addresses of millions of OnStar subscribers in North America.

The email is generated by collecting data from the vehicle’s computer sensors and sent by OnStar to owners, providing an  update on many of the vehicle’s most important sub-systems.

OnStar, as the world’s first vehicle telematics system, claims the service has the ability to save drivers millions of dollars in automotive maintenance costs by providing alerts for the key components, including safety systems.

By following the tire pressure alerts in the e-mails, for example, and then keeping their tires properly inflated, subscribers can save an estimated $70 per year in fuel costs. This adds up to a total of more than $30 million per month and more than $350 million annually for OnStar’s complete subscriber base. (Yes, I know these are soft numbers but you get the idea.) By following the oil life alerts in the monthly e-mail report, an average subscriber can save more than $30 per year on oil changes. Your savings may vary.

Information shared in the report includes tire pressure, service notifications and status of the oil life. The maintenance report can serve as a tool to help prevent unnecessary maintenance. The report also provides the status of critical vehicle operation and safety systems, such as the engine and transmission, stability control, airbag module and anti-lock braking.

Customer feedback about the Vehicle Diagnostics email has been generally positive, including numerous comments on OnStar’s Facebook page.

“According to the GM Oil Life Monitor, our ’08 Saturn Vue has been averaging about 12,000 miles between oil changes. We’re at just over 52,000, so we’ve only had four oil changes so far,” OnStar subscriber Elijah Scott posts on Facebook. “If we were doing the traditional 3,000 mile intervals, we would have had 17 oil changes instead! At roughly $30 a change, this has saved us approximately $390. Rock on, OnStar!”