In a move meant to keep the automaker at the forefront of the ever changing connectivity curve, General Motors has announced that starting with the 2014 model year, owners of any of its 36 vehicles equipped with a factory-installed OnStar system - and for 2014, that encompasses literally every model -- will be able to download and use the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App for free. This program can remotely lock/unlock the doors, start the car or activate the horn and lights via the owner's smartphone.

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To take advantage of the new RemoteLink Key Fob Services program, an owner will have to download and use the app at some point during the initial OnStar free-trial period. At that point, they'll retain use of the aforementioned functions for a period of five years at no charge -- even if they choose not to continue as a paid subscriber to OnStar. Those who do opt into an OnStar contract will have full access to all of the functionality of the RemoteLink Mobile App services that also include monitoring various vehicle operating systems, from remaining oil life to tire pressure as well as offering one-touch connection to an OnStar advisor. For customers with a Directions and Connections plan, the app also can send turn-by-turn directions from their smartphone to their vehicle.

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"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." To date, the RemoteLink Mobile App has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times and has over 320,000 regular users.

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