OnStar is a pretty neat little service. For a (somewhat steep) installation fee, plus a monthly service charge, you gain remote control of your vehicle and crash assistance in the event of an accident. It's one of those programs that sounds awesome, but isn't quite cheap enough yet to have attained widespread adoption. After this most recent news, though, I think OnStar will probably see a bit of a spike in sales.
On Sunday, October 18, a man with a shotgun carjacked a 2009 Chevy Tahoe, leaving its driver and his passenger stranded. Normally this would be followed by a call to the police and several days of fruitless, car-less waiting while the jacker sold your vehicle to a chop shop and spent the proceeds on crystal meth and prostitutes. Thanks to OnStar though, that's not how this altercation ended. (Engadget)
You can watch the full news video over at Engadget, or read the official press-release here for more details. To make a long story short; OnStar shut down the car while the jacker was making his get-away. The vehicle was recaptured by police within 16 minutes of being stolen, and the carjacker was chased into a residential pool and arrested. All in all, that's just about the best way a situation like this can end.
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When OnStar and services like it get cheap enough to become ubiquitous (if that ever happens) we could be looking at a new dark age for carjackers everywhere. With this new service, their old tactics become almost useless. Unless the thief is able to somehow disable your OnStar in a matter of minutes, he isn't going to be able to make much of a get-away at all.