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General Motors Adds Free Maintenance and Mobile App Services to 2014 Models

General Motors Adds Free Maintenance and Mobile App Services to 2014 Models

By Jeff Youngs, June 06, 2013
Want to be able to remotely unlock your car's doors, or start the engine to warm the interior on cold days or cool the cabin on hot ones, or activate the horn and lights, all using a free smartphone application? Sure you do. And General Motors knows it, because the data says so.

"We know our customers value remote services," said Mary Chan, president GM Global Connected Consumer. "GM owners request remote door unlock assistance through OnStar more than 60,000 times each month, so it makes sense for us to offer RemoteLink Key Fob Services to enable customers to lock, unlock or start their vehicle from anywhere they have a wireless or cellular connection."

RemoteLink Key Fob Services is free for the first 5 years of ownership when GM customers purchase one of the 36 different 2014 model-year cars, crossovers, SUVs, or trucks that is equipped with OnStar. To use it, owners must first download the RemoteLink Mobile App to their smartphone, and then, even if they decline additional extra-cost services, the application will work to unlock the doors, start the engine, beep the horn, and illuminate the lights. According to GM, the RemoteLink Mobile App has been downloaded 1.5 million times since it launched in 2010, and has over 320,000 regular users.

Additional services are available at extra cost, as part of regular OnStar subscription services, which are free for the first 6 months of ownership. They include one-touch access to an OnStar advisor, the ability to send directions from a smartphone directly to the OnStar Turn-by-Turn navigation service, and the ability to remotely reference vehicle status including remaining fuel range, remaining oil life, and tire pressure.

GM also announced that it would offer free scheduled maintenance for the first 2 years or 24,000 miles on nearly all of its 2014 Buick, Chevrolet, and GMC models. A Premium Care Maintenance program already covers Cadillac models during the first 4 years or 50,000 miles of ownership. The new plan provides free oil changes, tire rotations, and vehicle inspections during the first 2 years or 24,000 miles of travel, whichever comes first, or for up to four service visits in total. Toyota and Volkswagen offer similar plans, while BMW provides coverage similar to that for Cadillac models.

Speaking to attendees at the GM annual shareholders meeting in Detroit, Dan Akerson, GM Chief Executive Officer, said that the free maintenance plan is expected to increase sales and improve customer loyalty.

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