GM’s OnStar technology slows down the lowest of the low—a car-snatcher.

With OnStar's "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown", crooks will find a rough getaway road. (Yeah, the photo is a Ram, but we trust you get th' point.)
With OnStar's "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown", crooks will find a rough getaway road. (Yeah, the photo is a Ram, but we trust you get th' point.)

Say you’ve just boosted someone’s ride,  you low-down-so-and-so, and you see flashing red lights in the rear view mirror of the car you’ve just stolen.

Do you A) Say “Ok, pal, ya got me!”, safely pull to the side of the road and get out with your hands up?

Or B) Floor the accelerator?

Most thieves choose to try to outrun the police.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, about 30,000 police chases occur yearly and approximately 300 deaths occur as a result of those chases.

But GM’s new technology, Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, stops thieves in their tire tracks by sending a signal to a subscriber’s stolen vehicle to reduce engine power, slowing the vehicle down gradually. Powered by OnStar’s newest generation of hardware known as Generation 8, GM will make Stolen Vehicle Slowdown available on nearly 1.7 million 2009 vehicles, which means we could see the technology as soon as next year on new vehicles. GM’s largest division, Chevrolet, will be leading the way, making up for more than 60 percent of the total vehicles equipped with this new technology.

Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance uses Global Positioning Satellite technology to pinpoint the location of a vehicle that has been reported stolen, and OnStar provides the location to law enforcement to assist with the vehicle’s recovery. OnStar has been a resounding success since its 1996 introduction, and currently receives approximately 700 Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance requests from subscribers a month. The company has assisted in 28,000 requests over the past decade.

Here’s how Stolen Vehicle Slowdown works:

*Your car is stolen; you call the cops and report the theft.

*You call Onstar and request Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance.

*OnStar uses real-time GPS technology to pinpoint the exact location of the stolen vehicle, and provides this information to law enforcement to help them recover it.

*When police establish a clear line of sight of the stolen vehicle, they request OnStar to slow it down remotely.

*OnStar then sends a remote signal to the vehicle that interacts with the Powertrain system to reduce engine power which will slow the vehicle down gradually.

*Crook says, “@#$@#$@#$”

OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is a GM-exclusive feature in the U.S. and Canada, and will be included in the one year OnStar subscription that customers receive when purchasing an eligible 2009 OnStar-equipped vehicle. It also includes other handy features like Advanced Automatic Crash Notification, Emergency Services, Remote Door Unlock, Roadside Assistance, Crisis Assist, OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Hands Free Calling and OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics.

For more information , visit

– Josh Max,