Shutting down 3G networks in 2022 could affect your car’s GPS

The 3G wireless network was once among the hottest innovations in the world. Today, it seems old-fashioned with fifth-generation (5G), and even sixth-generation (6G) networks soon dominating the tech world.

In fact, 3G will soon be off – and that could mean bad news for your car.

Every major mobile carrier plans to shut down its 3G network this year, largely to free up mobile bandwidth for upcoming 5G network rollouts. If your smartphones and tablets were purchased within the last decade, they should have 4G capability, which means they probably won’t be affected.

However, your car might be a different story.

As several car blogs have pointed out recently, the 3G shutdown will affect dozens of vehicle models released anytime between 2010 and 2021. Some cars will lose the ability to update your location and traffic data during the navigation. Others will no longer be able to connect to your smartphone, voice assistants or emergency call services.

If you drive certain models from Honda, Nissan or Volvo, you may need to take action before AT&T’s February 3G shutdown date. Verizon-aligned brands like Toyota and Lexus may have more time: Verizon says its 3G shutdown will be “no later than” Dec. 31. T-Mobile plans to shut down its Sprint and T-Mobile 3G networks between March and July.

Some major auto companies have released information about which models of their cars will be affected by the shutdown – and what steps owners can take, if any, to ensure their cars don’t lose certain connected features a once the stop has occurred.

Other automakers, such as Bentley and Stellantis, acknowledged that some of their cars would be affected, but declined to specify which models.

Here is a current list of publicly known affected models:

Acura:

  • MDX models produced between 2014 and 2017
  • ILX (2016-2017)
  • RDX (2016-2017)
  • RDX (2019-2021)
  • RLX (2014-2016)
  • TLX (2015-2017)
  • NSX (2017)

Acura’s website identifies seven different vehicle models with AcuraLink functionality running on 3G, including real-time traffic and maintenance reminders, emergency calls and enhanced roadside assistance services, as well as personal concierge services. The Japanese luxury brand, which is owned by Honda, says drivers should contact a dealership to update their car’s hardware if they want to continue using these services after 3G networks shut down.

Audi:

  • A3 e-tron (2016-2018)
  • A4/Allroad (2013-2018)
  • A5 (2013-2018)
  • A6 (2012-2015)
  • A7 (2012-2015)
  • A8 (2012-2018)
  • RS 5 (2019)
  • Q3 (2015-2018)
  • Q5 (2013-2018)
  • Q7 (2012-2018)

For each of the 10 Audi models that will be affected by the 3G shutdown, Audi’s website offers an overview of the connected features that will be lost, online roadside assistance and stolen vehicle locator features at the price. real-time fuel and traffic light information.

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The German luxury carmaker advises owners to visit a dealership to disable their 3G hardware. Otherwise, the shutdown will cause vehicles to “display a warning message…and sound an audible chime to notify the driver that the vehicle is not connected and emergency services are not available.”

In December, Audi and automotive software company Mojio also announced a hardware update that should allow owners of affected models to connect to 4G networks.

BMW:

In April 2021, BMW posted an FAQ page noting that all “vehicles factory-equipped with 3G telematics devices or retrofitted 2G vehicles” will be completely disconnected from its ConnectedDrive and BMW Assist services. The page declined to identify the models included, but according to The Drive, you’re safe if your car is from 2019 or later.

BMW said it will contact owners of affected vehicles to let them know if their car is eligible for a free upgrade. Not all cars will be eligible, according to the FAQ page.

General Engines:

Even relatively new General Motors cars could be affected: Last year, CM and its OnStar connected features platform announced that the 3G shutdown will affect “certain 2015 model year and newer GM vehicles.”

In October, GM began offering over-the-air software updates to prepare its fleet for the shutdown, which OnStar says will take place in February. According to OnStar, the update happens automatically for some car models, while others will receive an in-dash prompt to accept the software update installation.

Updates will continue “until all affected vehicles have been successfully updated,” OnStar’s website says.

Honda:

  • Touring Accord (2018-2020)
  • Touring and Elite versions of Odyssey (2018-2020)
  • Insight Tour (2019-2020)
  • Touring and Elite versions of Passport (2019-2021)
  • Pilot’s Touring, Elite and Black Edition versions (2019-2022)

Honda’s website identifies February 22, 2022 as the date when the 3G shutdown will affect a handful of its models. The company is offering an over-the-air software update that should re-enable car features such as remote locking, enhanced roadside assistance and Wi-Fi hotspots.

Lexus:

According to Lexus, all models produced by the Toyota-owned luxury brand between 2010 and 2017 will be affected by the 3G shutdown, as well as GX models from 2018. The shutdown of connected services for these cars will take place on October 31, 2022, at which point features such as Automatic Collision Notification and Enhanced Roadside Assistance will stop working permanently.

So far, Toyota and Lexus have not announced any plans to offer software or hardware upgrades.

Nissan:

  • Altima (2016-2017)
  • GT-R (2017-2018)
  • Maxima (2016-2017)
  • Murano 2017
  • Pathfinder 2017
  • Thief (2016-2017)
  • Rogue Sport (2017–2018)
  • Sentra (2016-2018)
  • TITAN (2016-2017) and TITAN XD 2017
  • Select 2011-2015 LEAF EVs equipped with upgraded 3G telematics units

In December, Nissan told Jalopnik that its affected vehicles would lose 3G connectivity with AT&T’s shutdown in February, and that the company had contacted vehicle owners to inform them of the issue. If you own one of the above models and haven’t heard of Nissan yet, the company recommends calling 1-855-426-6628 to see if your car is affected.

Nissan has yet to announce plans to offer any software or hardware upgrades to affected owners.

Porsche:

  • 911 (2017-2019)
  • 918 Spyder (2014)
  • 718 (2017-2021)
  • Cayenne (2015-2019)
  • Macan (2017-2018)
  • Panamera (2014-2018)

The Porsche vehicles listed above will lose 3G connectivity on February 22, cutting out various remote control, safety and security features, according to the company’s website. Porsche adds that some, but not all, vehicles will be eligible for a technology upgrade to keep these connected features working.

The company’s website says it will notify car owners via email if their vehicles are eligible for an update.

Subaru:

  • Crossing (2016-2019)
  • Forester (2016-2018)
  • Legacy (2016-2018)
  • Impreza (2016-2018)
  • WRX (2017-2018)
  • WRX STI (2017-2018)
  • Outback (2016-2018)

On its website, Japanese automaker Subaru says its seven affected models will lose 3G connectivity in February, affecting features such as “SOS emergency assistance” and the ability to remotely lock and unlock your car. However, a free software update is available for subscribers to Subaru’s Starlink Safety Plus or Security Plus Connected Services.

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In July, Tesla announced that its Model S luxury sedans built before June 2015 would lose network connectivity in February 2022 unless owners paid $200 at a Tesla dealership to install an upgraded LTE-enabled modem.

Without the upgrade, affected Model S sedans will lose a variety of connected features, including over-the-air software updates, live traffic data, music streaming and Tesla’s Summon feature – which allows owners remotely call their car in a parking lot to pick them up. nearby without a driver.

Toyota:

  • 4Runner (2010-2019)
  • Avalon (2013-2018)
  • Camry (2013-2017)
  • Mountaineer (2014-2018)
  • Land cruiser (2011-2017)
  • Mirai (2016-2017)
  • Prius (2010-2016)
  • Prius plug-in (2012-2015)
  • Prius V (2012-2016)
  • RAV4 EV (2012-2014)
  • Siena (2011-2017)

Toyota’s website says 3G connectivity for its affected models will end on November 1. The company advises vehicle owners to contact a Toyota dealer before December 1 to determine if their vehicle is eligible for a free software update and to schedule an appointment.

If your car isn’t eligible, Toyota says you’ll simply lose access to features like Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance and Emergency Assistance, which help locate your vehicle in the event of a crash. flight.

VW:

  • Atlas (2018-2019)
  • Arteon (2018-2019)
  • Ladybug (2014-2019)
  • CC (2014-2018)
  • EOS (2014-2017)
  • Several Golf editions (2014-2019)
  • Jetta (2014-2019)
  • Passat (2014-2019)
  • Tiguan (2014-2019)

Volkswagen’s connected features are available to drivers on a subscription basis, so if you’re not a paying subscriber, you won’t lose anything. However, if you drive one of the above models and have an active Car-Net subscription, you will lose features in February such as emergency call and roadside assistance, reports on vehicle status and the ability to check fuel status remotely.

VW’s website says “additional information will be available in the coming months” for customers who wish to continue using the Car-Net platform after the shutdown, and that drivers should “please check closer ” the February quit date.

Volvo:

  • S60 (2015.5-2018
  • V60 (2015.5-2018)
  • V60 Cross Country (2015.5-2018)
  • XC60 (2015.5-2017)
  • XC70 (2015.5-2016)
  • XC90 (2016)

Volvo’s mobile partner is AT&T, which means affected vehicles will lose 3G connectivity in February. The shutdown will cut features such as real-time traffic updates and in-car access to the Volvo On Call app which offers emergency assistance and remote tracking.

The Swedish company’s website says it will offer an upgrade to at least some owners of affected vehicles, who are asked to complete an online form for more information.

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