This is actually a remarkable story. Last week (Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 1:27pm to be exact), State Senator Terry Burton realized that his 2009 Chevrolet Impala had been stolen. Yes, not only did a thug steal a Chevy Impala, but it just so happened to be one owned by a Senator. Not good for Mr. Crook. To make matters worse for Sir Steal-a-Lot, the Impala was armed with On-Star’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. Oh yeah. After Senator Burton saw that his car was stolen, he called OnStar and reported it. OnStar then contacted local police, found the vehicle, and, when the vehicle was in a safe position, armed the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. This technology can be remotely activated by an OnStar advisor once the car has been located by their GPS system and when police can see the vehicle and advise the OnStar representative that the car is in a safe position. The only thing left to do is activate it and watch the car slow down.
We can only imagine the look on the thief’s face as he saw the police cruisers gaining on him in the rearview mirror and then feel as the car slowly died to an idle position. Now, sitting in a non-moving car with the officers happily walking over to detain him, the crook’s hopes of getting away come crashing down and evaporating into the air under the hot sun. Not a good day for him, but an excellent day for Mississippi police, OnStar, and Senator Burton.
This story is so perfect, so happily-ever-after, that one has to wonder if this was some sort of promotional setup by OnStar or Chevrolet . We are not saying it is, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was.
Press release after the jump.
GM and OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown (SVS) service helped safely recover a 2009 Chevrolet Impala belonging to State Senator Terry Burton, stolen in Jackson, Mississippi.
At approximately 1:27 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 6, Senator Burton realized his Chevrolet Impala was stolen and immediately called OnStar to report the vehicle stolen.
Once OnStar advisors verified with law enforcement that the Impala was stolen and the senator had requested assistance, they were able to quickly locate the Impala and alert the Hinds County Sheriff Department officers of its location. When officers had the vehicle in sight, they requested that Stolen Vehicle Slowdown be initiated and the vehicle was safely slowed to a stop.
“This technology is extremely helpful to not only our officers, but to the public as well,” said Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin. “I was very pleased with the experience and the fact that OnStar was able to help us curtail a high-speed chase, which too often has disastrous results.”
Since launch in October of 2008, OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown service has been deployed nearly 60 times.
“I am very impressed with OnStar’s ability to not only locate a stolen vehicle, but to slow it down and ultimately recover it. I am pleased my Impala was returned to me without damage, but even more grateful that no one was injured during the commission of this crime,” said Senator Burton.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 334 people were killed in the U.S. in crashes that resulted from police pursuits in 2008. Stolen Vehicle Slowdown helps eliminate high speed pursuits, and greatly reduces the chance of damage to property or personal injury.
“We are so pleased OnStar was able to assist Senator Burton in the safe recovery of his vehicle and quickly diffuse a high-speed chase,” said OnStar President Chris Preuss. This instance exemplifies the power of the OnStar service, and how our technology, our relationships within the law enforcement community, and our specialized group of highly trained advisors work together to provide the ultimate in-vehicle safety and security system.”
How Stolen Vehicle Slowdown Works
Once an OnStar subscriber has reported a stolen vehicle to law enforcement, he or she can call OnStar and request Stolen Vehicle Assistance. An OnStar Advisor will use advanced Global Positioning Satellite technology to pinpoint the exact location of the stolen vehicle which will be provided only to law enforcement.
Once law enforcement officials have the stolen vehicle in a clear line of sight to know conditions are safe, they can request that the OnStar Advisor remotely slow it down. OnStar will then send a signal to the vehicle’s engine, reducing engine power and gradually slowing the vehicle to idle speed while all other vehicle systems, including power steering and brakes, remain fully operational.
OnStar has offered Stolen Vehicle Assistance services with GPS location since 1996. It now receives approximately 500 Stolen Vehicle Assistance requests from subscribers each month, and has helped in nearly 50,000 requests over the past thirteen years.
OnStar’s suite of services also includes Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Services, Remote Door Unlock, Roadside Assistance, Crisis Assist, OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Hands Free Calling and OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics.
OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown was put into production in October of 2008 and is exclusively on GM vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. The service is included in the OnStar subscription that comes standard for one year on eligible Model Year 2009 and newer OnStar-equipped vehicles. Subscribers who prefer not to have the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown capability on their vehicle may contact OnStar to opt out of the service at any time. The rest of their OnStar services will remain active and unaffected. For more information regarding OnStar’s services, please visit www.onstar.com.