OnStar employs approximately 2,000 advisers at three call centers in North America: Warren
Can you imagine if when watching Smokey and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds reached up to the rearview mirror in his ’77 Special Edition Trans Am, pushed its blue OnStar button, sending a signal from the T/A to a satellite overhead and then to an OnStar command center, and a polite and trained live advisor quickly downloaded voice turn-by-turn navigation to the mirror for the Bandit to get from Texarkana to McDonough quicker than Sheriff Buford T. Justice?
Far-fetched? Not at all, because OnStar FMV (For My Mirror) gives your vintage or late-model Pontiac OnStar’s core features (’81-and-up currently; there is a possibility that OnStar will extend compatibility to pre-’81 Pontiacs, such as the SE Trans Ams that Burt Reynolds drove in Smokey and the Bandit and Smokey and the Bandit II), which owners of many ’06-and-newer Pontiacs enjoy as factory-installed optional equipment. (Owners of pre-’06 Pontiacs with the discontinued analog system of OnStar can upgrade to OnStar FMV, too.)
“For years we’ve had people telling us that though they’re not in the market for a new vehicle, they would like OnStar [on what they already own,]” OnStar’s Stefan Cross says. “We never really had a way to deliver on this customer demand. That is no longer the case now that OnStar FMV is on the market.”
OnStar FMV is sold at various consumer-electronic retail stores or by mail order. It retai
OnStar FMV is more than a direct-replacement rearview mirror for your Pontiac—it gives you safety, security, and connectivity services; an accelerometer to detect moderate to severe crashes, which then activates Automatic Crash Response and sends first-responders to your exact location; GPS locating to get you from where you are to where you want to go, but more importantly, to locate your vehicle if it is ever stolen; and hands-free cellular phone service—either by purchasing minutes to use the embedded OnStar phone or with Bluetooth connectivity pairing the mirror to your Bluetooth-enabled phone. OnStar FMV also includes access to live advisors 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Currently, OnStar’s live advisors can only register 17-digit VINs into their system, and that’s the primary reason why OnStar FMV is compatible only on ’81-and-up vehicles. From a hardware perspective, OnStar FMV and its three-wire power harness will install into any 12-volt powered Pontiac—that means all the way back to ’55—but OnStar says there’s no plan in the immediate future to register 13- or 10-digit VIN vehicles. (High Performance Pontiac thinks OnStar should develop a workaround for ’80 and older vehicles, as it would be great asset to owners of collector Pontiacs.)
An OnStar subscription is $18.95 a month ($199 a year) for the Safe and Sound plan—Automatic Crash Response, 24/7 Emergency Services, Roadside Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, hands-free calling, and Virtual Advisor services, which gives you personalized traffic, weather, and stock updates. The Directions and Connections plan is $28.90 ($299 a year), which includes all Safe and Sound features plus Turn-by-Turn Navigation. Pairing your Bluetooth-enabled phone to OnStar FMV for hands-free calling does not require a subscription.
Inside the OnStar FMV retail packaging, you’ll find an OnStar FMV mirror, microphone, wiri
Using a 2.5mm Allen-head driver, Suncoast Marine Electronics field tech Jeff Pifer removes
He removes the factory rear-view mirror in this ’98 Trans Am by loosening its set screw wi
Using a No. 2 Philips screw head on an electric drill, he removes the driver-side A-pillar
…followed by the screws that attach the driver-side sunvisor.
After sliding the OnStar FMV mirror up over and down onto the factory windshield mount, he