Car Owner Sues Over Analog Cellular Shutdown

As most readers know, analog cell phone service is being discontinued, and the shutdown of analog cell phone networks is not going well for owners of cars using the OnStar in-car communications and security system. The West Virginia Record reported Robert Reishman has filed suit against Audi and OnStar on Dec.14 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

OnStar notified customers last year that beginning Jan. 1, 2008, service would only be available on the digital cell phone network. When Reishman requested an upgrade to digital service, he was told there was no way to change or upgrade the hardware.

The West Virginia Record includes these quotes from the suit: "As a result ... thousands of Audi owners will be left stranded with useless analog-only OnStar systems….Not only will these Audi owners lose the safety, security and convenient benefits of the OnStar network, they will also suffer sharp declines in the value of their vehicles."

Reishman noted that Audi and OnStar knew in 2001 that analog cell phone service would be discontinued. He claims the companies participated in unfair and deceptive business practices.

Could people that purchased analog-only TV sets after the date for the analog TV shutdown make the same claim against TV manufacturers and the retailers that sold them the soon to be obsolete TV sets? Probably not, as thanks to the government's inexpensive set-top box program, these older TVs can continue to be used.