For years, you’ve heard about 5G’s potential for rapidly increased data speeds on our digital devices. Fantastic. But to get there, the cellular carriers and Federal Communications Commission claim they have to shut down older 3G networks. The problem: Every 3G device out there will be cut off—dead, bricked, useless—including the 3G modems in potentially millions of cars sold over the past decade.
This wasn’t a topic we’d been following until we saw the news that AT&T shut down its 3G network on February 22. T-Mobile (with Sprint) is shutting down by March 31. Verizon, by December 31. All the other low-tier mobile providers (such as Cricket) are under the same timelines, depending on which network they crib.
Despite filing a petition last August asking the FCC to extend the “3G sunset,” the prevalence of 4G LTE service in the past seven-plus years, and the inevitability that this day would come, the world’s automakers have continued to install cheaper 3G modems in new cars. They’ve had ample time to prepare workarounds for car owners who will see services they like—and in some cases, those critical for safety in an accident—either disappear or require expensive upgrades.
“For three years, we worked with automotive manufacturers to help them transition their connected cars to newer technology before 3G services ended,” AT&T said to Car and Driver in a statement. Did the company that made your vehicle make that transition?
Below are the automakers that have made public information available (we copied what the automakers published they would cancel word for word, to avoid any confusion between their various brand-specific services and subscriptions). Check with your local dealer or contact national customer service to learn more about refunds, incentives, and available fixes.
We will update this story as we get further information.
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- 2014–2017 MDX (2016 model pictured)
- 2015–2017 TLX
- 2016–2017 ILX, RDX
- 2014–2016 RLX; 2017 NSX
Canceled services: AcuraLink Premium: Personal concierge services to make hotel, restaurant, or airline reservations.
AcuraLink Connect: Automatic Collision Notification, Emergency Call, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Send Destination, Find My Car, Destination by Voice, Vehicle Status, and Security Alarm Alert.
AcuraLink Standard: Real Time Traffic and Maintenance Reminders.
Remedy: Acura claims that dealers can install a “new device” for AcuraLink services. Certain owners may qualify for $1500 off a new Acura, according to CarsDirect.
- 2012–2015 A6, A7
- 2012–2018 Q7
- 2012–2018 Q3, A5, A8
- 2013–2016 Allroad, A4
- 2013–2018 Q5
- 2014–2016 A3 (2014 A3 Sportback pictured)
- 2016–2018 A3 e-tron
- 2018 Q5, A8
- 2019 RS5
Canceled services: All Audi connect services will no longer be available following AT&T’s 3G turndown. Impacted services include Google Voice Search, Weather, Fuel Prices, Travel information, Flight information, Parking information, Point-of-interest search, and Wi-Fi hotspot.
Audi connect CARE’s SOS and emergency call feature, online roadside assistance, Audi Service Request, and Audi incident assistance, remote lock and unlock, vehicle status report, and stolen vehicle locator.
Audi connect PRIME’s geofencing, speed/curfew alert, valet alert, and Car finder.
Remedy: For telematics, Audi is offering Motion for Audi Connect, which involves installing a 4G modem and telematics unit in the OBD-II port and using a phone app. This is to replace some of the SOS features.
No model list provided.
Canceled services: As a result of the sunset of 3G service by wireless carrier partners, by February 2022, vehicles factory-equipped with 3G telematics devices or retrofitted 2G vehicles will no longer be able to receive any ConnectedDrive/BMW Assist services.
Some vehicles factory-equipped with 4G telematics devices will no longer have access to services that require a voice connection, such as BMW Assist eCall and Concierge Services, but will continue to receive certain ConnectedDrive/BMW Assist services such as Advanced Real-Time Traffic Information, Remote Services and BMW Online, depending on your BMW model.
Remedy: Certain cars can be upgraded for free at the dealer; others will be ineligible. BMW says it is contacting customers.
According to a NHTSA filing in November 2021:
- 2012–2015 Focus
- 2012–2013 Fusion (2013 Fusion Titanium pictured)
- 2012 Mercury Milan
- 2012 Lincoln MKZ
- 2013 C-Max
Canceled services: As the 3G cellular service is decommissioned, vehicles equipped with the 3G telematics control unit (TCU) will lose MyFord Mobile and MyLincoln Mobile app functionality/connectivity.
Affected cars include 2015 and newer Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC models. No list provided. This website allows you to enter a VIN to see if it is affected.
Canceled services: The 3G network sunset impacts services in which you need to speak to an OnStar Advisor through the vehicle or the Advisor needs to speak to you in the vehicle. If you are in a crash, the vehicle’s built-in sensors can still transmit an Automatic Crash Response alert and the vehicle’s location to OnStar.
Remedy: GM has been pushing over-the-air software updates to affected models so they can work on 4G LTE networks. No hardware installation is required unless OnStar is “inactive or disabled.”
- 2012–2015 models with Blue Link (except Sonata with navigation and Genesis)
- 2016 Elantra, Elantra GT, Veloster (without navigation), Sonata Hybrid, Santa Fe, Equus
Canceled services: All Hyundai Blue Link services will deactivate, including safety and security features such as: Automatic Crash Notification (ACN), SOS Emergency Assistance, Road Side Assistance, and Stolen Vehicle Tracking.
- 2018–2020 Accord Touring, Odyssey Touring/Elite (2018 Accord Touring pictured)
- 2019–2020 Insight Touring
- 2019–2022 Pilot Touring/Elite/Black Edition
- 2019–2021 Passport Touring/Elite
Canceled services: HondaLink Remote: Remote Start and Stop, Security Alarm Alert, Amazon Alexa Skill, Remote Lock and Unlock, Find My Car, Geofence Alert, Speed Alert, Destination by Voice, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Driver Feedback.
HondaLink Security: Emergency Call, Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Personal Data Wipe.
HondaLink Concierge: Personal concierge services to make hotel, restaurant, or airline reservations.HondaLink Link: Dashboard, Vehicle Notifications, Vehicle Health Report, Send Destination.
Other Features: Wi-Fi Hotspot.
Remedy: If you didn’t install Honda’s over-the-air update by February 22, you’re too late and will have to pay for a new modem or lose all services.
Nissan and Infiniti
- 2016–2017 Altima, Maxima, Rogue, Titan
- 2016–2018 Sentra (2016 Sentra pictured)
- 2017–2018 GT-R, Rogue Sport
- 2017 Murano, Pathfinder, Titan XD
- 2017–2018 Rogue Sport
- 2011–2015 Leaf (any upgraded by customer after 2G sunset)
- 2014–2018 Infiniti Q50
- 2017–2018 Infiniti Q60
- 2013–2018 Infiniti Q70
- 2017–2019 Infiniti QX30
- 2013–2017 Infiniti JX, QX60, QX56, QX80
Canceled services: All Nissan vehicles equipped with telematics hardware compatible for use with the 3G cellular network will be unable to access NissanConnect Services and NissanConnect EV features. All Infiniti vehicles equipped with telematics hardware compatible for use with the 3G cellular network will be unable to access Infiniti InTouch Services and Infiniti Connection features.
- 2014 918 Spyder
- 2014–2018 Panamera
- 2015–2019 Cayenne (2015 Cayenne Turbo pictured)
- 2017–2018 Macan
- 2017–2019 911
Canceled services: These services include all Porsche Car Connect services provided by Vodafone as well as Porsche offered Remote, Safety, and Security services.
Remedy: Some models are eligible for a dealer-installed upgrade.
No model list provided. Affected cars under the former Fiat Chrysler (Dodge, Chrysler, Ram, Jeep, Fiat, Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo) may include 2012–2017 models built with the first three Uconnect generations (the fourth-gen Uconnect 8.4 switched to 4G starting with three 2017 models).
Canceled services: Monthly vehicle health report, vehicle health alert, a smartphone app that enables owners to remotely lock, unlock or start their vehicle, locate their vehicle and more; 9-1-1 call and Assist Buttons on the rearview mirror that will connect vehicle owners to help at the push of a button.
Remedy: According to Consumer Reports, only “certain 3G vehicles” will be upgraded so long as the owner pays for a data plan. Automatic crash notifications will be permanently disabled.
- 2016–2018 Forester, Legacy, Outback, Impreza, Crosstrek (2016 Forester pictured)
- 2017–2018 WRX, WRX STI
Canceled services: Affected services include Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Remote Features such as locking and unlocking your Subaru vehicle.
Remedy: If you didn’t install Subaru’s over-the-air update before February 22, you’re too late and will have no opportunity to upgrade the hardware.
According to Electrek:
- 2012–2015 Model S built before June 2015 (2013 Model S pictured)
Canceled services: Remotely control climate controls, locks and charge settings. Get navigation and traffic updates, including Supercharger availability and outage information. Stream music online using your touchscreen. Receive remote diagnostic support from roadside assistance. Access over-the-air software updates.
Remedy: Modem upgrade available.
Toyota and Lexus
- 2011–2017 Sienna
- 2012–2016 Prius V
- 2013–2018 Avalon/HV
- 2012–2014 RAV4 EV
- 2012–2015 Prius Plug-in
- 2013–2017 Camry/HV
- 2016–2017 Mirai
- 2010–2016 Prius
- 2014–2018 Highlander/HV
- 2011–2017 Land Cruiser (2012 Land Cruiser pictured)
- 2010–2019 4RunnerMost every 2010–2018 Lexus
Canceled services: Toyota Safety Connect will no longer function as of November 1, 2022. Affected Safety Connect services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Emergency Assistance Button and Stolen Vehicle Locator.The Charge Management, ECO Dashboard, Remote Climate and Vehicle Finder capabilities included in the Entune App Suite will also no longer be supported as of November 1, 2022. This is only applicable to the Prius Plug-in, RAV4 EV, and Mirai.
As of October 31, 2022, at 11:59PM CST, the following available Lexus Enform subscription services will be terminated on select 2010–2018 vehicles: Lexus Enform Safety Connect including Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Emergency Assistance Button and Stolen Vehicle Locator.Lexus Enform Remote including Remote Engine Start/Stop, Door Lock/Unlock, Vehicle Finder, Guest Driver Monitor, Vehicle Status and Alerts, Key Fob Remote Start, and Integration with Alexa® and The Google Assistant.
Lexus Enform Destination Assist including 24-hour live response center agent.
Lexus Enform Service Connect including Vehicle Health Report, Vehicle Alerts, and Maintenance Alerts.
- 2014–2019 Passat, Jetta, Eos, Tiguan, Beetle, Golf, e-Golf, GTI, Golf R, Golf Sportwagen (2014 Beetle convertible pictured)
- 2014–2018 CC
- 2018–2019 Atlas, Arteon
Canceled services:The VW Car-Net telematics system will no longer function and the vehicle will no longer transmit or receive telematics data through the Car-Net system. This means that the following features will no longer be available after the 3G network has sunset.
Safe and Secure: SOS and emergency call feature, roadside call assistance, stolen vehicle locator, information assistance and automatic crash notifications.
Remote Access: remote lock and unlock, remote honk and flash, vehicle health reports, fuel status, mileage trip statistics, send POI, boundary alerts, curfew alerts, valet alerts, speed alerts and last parked location.
Car-Net Mobile App: Mobile app and customer web portal access will be restricted.
Remedy: Owners of 2017–2019 vehicles can buy an upgrade that will be available in fall 2022. All other models (including all e-Golf models) will be permanently disabled.
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