OnStar is known for offering services that come in handy during emergencies when on the road.
However, it is also a subscription-based service, bringing us to our million-dollar question.
Does OnStar emergency work without a subscription?
Isn’t the essence of paying for a subscription to access services?
Consequently, if you don’t have an active subscription, OnStar won’t work even in an emergency.
How much time has lapsed since the subscription became invalid doesn’t matter.
As long as you don’t have an active subscription, don’t expect much from OnStar; this article explains why.
It also highlights what happens if you try using OnStar emergency without a subscription; hence a must-read.
What Happens When OnStar Expires?
Understanding this will help you know why relying on OnStar during an emergency would be a bad idea if you don’t have an active subscription.
As soon as your OnStar subscription lapses, it signals your devices to disable itself.
Under such circumstances, you don’t expect it to respond to any request, even in emergencies.
After all, an expired OnStar subscription means the removal of telecom data; the only available connection is the one to an account creation and renewals representatives.
However, that doesn’t mean OnStar lacks the information it can share with law enforcement agencies if needed.
Even though it is limited, such information comes in handy in cases of kidnapping and theft.
So, one can say that it doesn’t mean OnStar can’t access your vehicle’s information once it expires.
On the contrary, you can’t access that information, but it resumes when you activate your subscription.
Besides emergency services, an expired OnStar subscription also deactivates other services, including security, tracking information, and road assistance, among other features.
What Happens If I Push the OnStar Button Without Subscription?
So, let’s look at what pressing the various buttons means once your subscription expires.
What Happens If You Press the Red Button After Your OnStar Subscription Expires?
If your OnStar subscription lapses, don’t expect the red button to connect to an advisor to help you with your emergency.
Contrary to that, it will notify you that your subscription is inactive through a recording.
Whereas the information is good, that’s not what one would like to hear when seeking help during an emergency.
Besides your access to advisors, other automatic services, including Airbag Deployment and AACN, also stop.
The recording also advises you to contact 9-1-1 if it is a case of emergency, and OnStar thus distances itself further from its obligation to assist you.
However, don’t expect to use the hands-free calling feature since it is only available to active subscribers.
So, if it is an emergency case and you don’t have an OnStar subscription, the best action would be to dial 911 directly for the assistance you seek.
What Happens If You Press the Blue Button After Your OnStar Subscription Expires?
Similarly, pressing the blue button if your OnStar subscription is inactive won’t be helpful either.
Instead of contacting an advisor to contact the first respondents, they will be redirected to a representative responsible for new accounts.
The representative is meant to help you with the reactivating process to resume your OnStar membership.
Therefore, since the only help one can offer concerns reactivating your subscription, it isn’t advisable to press it for emergency services.
Besides, the call can take considerable time to go through as it is available on demand via Verizon Wireless or Bell Mobility.
Equally important, out of all the information this advisor gets, your location isn’t one of them.
It is no secret that it is vital information when handling emergency cases, thus making it inappropriate for emergency responses.
Isn’t Not Availing of Emergency Services Illegal?
Yes, an FCC ruling obligates cellular providers to avail of the 911 service.
It states that not even a lack of subscription should prevent your cellular provider from processing your direct call to the emergency number, 911.
Unfortunately, the FCC doesn’t apply to OnStar due to its operating mechanism.
After all, the red button doesn’t allow you to contact the 911 emergency number directly.
On the contrary, it redirects you to one of OnStar’s calling centers, connecting you to an advisor to offer the relevant help.
So, technically, you can’t sue OnStar for failing to assist you during an emergency despite pressing its red button.
Will you Push the OnStar Red Emergency Button to Call 911?
Why subscribe to OnStar if I can directly dial 911 in an emergency?
Whereas a 911 call and pushing the OnStar red button are designed to serve a similar purpose, how they respond is different.
The push doesn’t connect you to the 911 call center.
On the contrary, it will connect you to an OnStar advisor trained to handle various emergencies, including fire, police, and medical assistance.
Its technology can pinpoint your exact location, thus helping first responders reach you as soon as possible.
Besides, its automatic crash detector is helpful when such an emergency leaves you in a situation where you can’t seek the necessary help.
Can I Use OnStar Without a Subscription?
OnStar can’t offer its services to you unless you have an active subscription.
Besides, you get what you pay for thanks to its various plans offering different features at various prices to accommodate varying needs and budgets.
How Can You Access OnStar Emergency Services?
Besides pushing the OnStar red emergency button, other ways exist to access these services.
For instance, you can call OnStar via (1.888.4ONSTAR) or 1.888.466.7827 to contact an Advisor directly in an emergency.
Alternatively, use the OnStar Guardian app to push the red button instead of pushing it manually.
If the device you have installed, the OnStar Guardian app, is Alexa-enabled, use this Amazon virtual technology assistant to make the command.
It is as simple as saying, Alexa, call for help, and it will comply.
So, do not hesitate to use any of the above methods if there is an accident.
It also applies if seeking medical, police, or fire assistance.
Besides, you can use it if another road user needs emergency assistance.