OnStar safety program soon ready for non-GM vehicles

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The OnStar in-vehicle safety system has been available on select General Motors brands since 1996. But the technology, now in its ninth generation, will soon be available to a wider range of vehicles, GM or not.

Within a few months, consumer electronics retailers will begin selling a standalone version of OnStar. It’s replacement rear-view mirror that can be installed in most “top-selling” vehicles from major manufacturers.

Best Buy will be OnStar’s the first U.S. retail partner.

The retail version on OnStar will offer the core features including the noted “blue button,” turn-by-turn navigation services, stolen vehicle location assistance, automatic crash response and one-touch access to roadside and emergency services.

The device will also offer hands-free calling via Bluetooth. The replacement mirror will be priced at $299, with installation an additional $75 to $100. The OnStar service starts at $18.95 a month or $199 a year.

Although the mirrors will be available initially through Best Buy, Ingram Micro will eventually distribute OnStar into additional retailers.

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