Home ยป Cadillac OnStar Hands-Free Calling To Be Discontinued In February 2022

Cadillac OnStar Hands-Free Calling To Be Discontinued In February 2022

Cadillac OnStar Hands-Free Calling To Be Discontinued In February 2022

Cadillac’s OnStar Hands-Free Calling (HFC) feature will soon be discontinued, Cadillac Society has confirmed with the automaker. The deletion of the feature means that all Cadillac vehicles currently equipped with HFC will not longer be able to use it to make phone calls starting in February 2022.

In a statement, OnStar spokesperson, Stephanie Obendorfer, told Cadillac Society that the Hands-Free Calling Feature has simply been made obsolete in the age of Bluetooth and smartphones. “We routinely evaluate our services to provide the best experience for our members. In this spirit, we have decided to discontinue Hands-Free Calling starting in February 2022,” she said. 

Orbendorfer noted that while OnStar Hands-Free Calling would be sunset, Bluetooth functionality for paired smartphones will, of course, remain intact. “Members can use Bluetooth pairing to make phone calls while keeping their hands on the wheel,” she added.

It’s worth noting that, besides Bluetooth, customers can also make calls using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in vehicles equipped with the technologies. In fact, all new Cadillac models currently on sale have Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

It should also be noted that the deletion of Hands-Free Calling will not have an impact on other OnStar features, including Roadside Assistance, Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Vehicle Locate, along with On-demand Vehicle Diagnostics (OVD) and Dealer Maintenance Notification (DMN).

OnStar was first introduced for the 1997 model year. The first three models to feature the subscription-based telematics system were the 1997 Cadillac DeVille, Cadillac Seville, and Cadillac Eldorado. Since OnStar was introduced before smartphones and Bluetooth, the technology was considered very advanced for its time. Even as smartphones and Bluetooth connectivity became more commonplace, OnStar was still considered useful for customers who do not have a cellular device but still wish to make hands-free calls while driving their vehicles. An alternative use case involves customers that live areas without a strong cellular signal, when it was common for OnStar-equipped vehicles to have a signal due to a larger and more powerful antenna while a cellular handset did not.

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Written by
Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

14 Comments

  1. I voted good riddance. However, the call quality/fidelity was much better than cell in my area.

    Reply
  2. they are right….highly dated…and VERY expensive to “buy minutes”….

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  3. And then until you’ve found yourself in a pinch and forgotten that smart phone for some stupid reason… hmmm.

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    • I’d much rather use the hands-free in my vehicle than my cell phone even if it is paired up with Bluetooth. It’s a shame that they are discontinuing this service, as far as cost, I don’t think it’s that expensive 100 minutes for $10, cheaper than my cell phone.

      Reply
  4. It was always good to have some Onstar emergency minutes available in case of emergency of cell phone not working or weak signal.

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  5. 100 minutes for I think $10 is hardly expensive. Never a dropped call and great to have in a emergency. Plus they rolled over in a year if you bought another $10 worth before they expired. I have over 400 minutes I accumulated thru the years that I am now going to lose.

    Reply
  6. Ron. I need to sign up where you did. My minutes package was like a buck a minute and expired after a year of use. Maybe we had different plans. I could never use even the limited number and then had to replace expiring minutes. But. The emergency stuff is gold. Had my brand new ct6v sheared off the front end at an intersection and onstar was in in less than two seconds to make sure I was ok. I was. So regardless of the phone thing I am a fan

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  7. I would much rather use hands-free then my cell phone even if it is Bluetooth pair. I really don’t know why Onstar is discontinuing hands-free, always had good reception no matter where I was. As far as cost goes, 100 minutes for $10 to me is a lot cheaper than my cell phone.

    Reply
  8. It was a great back up to have. The signal strength and coverage went down a couple of years ago when they went from Verizon to AT&T but it was still good. I really hate to see it go.

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  9. We’ve really become dependent on the hands free calling feature and will miss it tremendously. We’ve don’t have cell phones and our Cadillac is a 2011. We were offered a $25gift card to buy back the unused 262 minutes but when it arrived its limited to 1800 Flowers or Sheriff’s Berries. Not really worth much for us. Very disappointed in Onstar.

    Reply
  10. I am very highly disappointed in the decision by Onstar to get rid of hands free calling, did they not consider the fact that you forgot your cell phone for some reason. It seems that Onstar is stopping service and charging more. I still say it is a great emergency item. I have two Cadillacs and I am so disappointed in Onstar lately.

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  11. It was a great back up for cellular, convenient and clear. I agree the number of minutes you could buy at that price could not be compared. Totally disappointed in the decision.

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  12. I needed handsfree the other day my phone broke. Also rather use handsfree. Very disappointed

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  13. The hands free calling was a safety feature. Many times I’ve been where my cell phone has no signal & my wife’s phone does not always link to her car. I’m very disappointed in GM.

    Reply

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