Technology has infiltrated the modern automobile, bringing a host of infotainment goodies and advanced safety features to the general public. But the technology has its drawbacks, as a handful of Hyundai owners will soon discover. Cars Direct reports that the automaker has informed its dealers that it will no longer support its first-generation BlueLink telematics services in certain 2012-2016 models, which will interrupt service for several safety features.
The cause of the service shutdown is the old 2G cellular technology, which Aeris Communications will no longer support after December 31, 2021. Telecom companies have been phasing out 2G networks for years, with AT&T dropping support in 2017 and T-Mobile doing the same in 2021 in the United States. Companies in other countries began to phase out the technology as early as 2008. Sprint, now owned by T-Mobile, will see its 2G network shut down next year.
The loss of cellular service means that the affected Hyundai models will lose some functionality. Hyundai’s notice to dealers lists automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, stolen vehicle tracking, etc., will be affected by the network shutdown. Hyundai says holders of an annual subscription will get a pro-rated refund, while those with monthly plans will continue until the end of service at the end of the year.
Affected vehicles include all 2012-2014 BlueLink equipped models and all 2015 models except Sonata with Navigation and Genesis. For 2016 models, the shutdown affects the Elantra, Elantra GT, Veloster, Sonata Hybrid, Santa Fe and Equus.
As automakers continue to allow technology to infiltrate the automobile, issues like these are likely to continue to surface. Obsolete technology in cars could easily lose the support of automakers, who can choose to shut down services or stop updating older models altogether. It’s just another thing car buyers should be aware of before spending their hard earned money on fancy features that might not work later on.