Theft Alarm Notification* is a feature within the Stolen Vehicle Assistance* suite of services from OnStar,® available on most 2014 model year and newer vehicles with an active OnStar Safety & Security Plan (or Essentials and Premium bundles, which include Safety & Security). If your car alarm sounds, a Theft Alarm Notification will be sent to you, providing you with early notification that may increase the chances of recovering your vehicle or personal property by working with local law enforcement and OnStar.
When enrolled in this service, if someone attempts to steal or tamper with your armed or locked vehicle, a notification will be sent to you based on your communication preferences. The Theft Alarm Notification is intended to provide you with an early notification that may increase the chances of recovering your vehicle or personal property by working with local law enforcement and OnStar.
In order to receive Theft Alarm Notification, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Confirm your vehicle is compatible with Theft Alarm Notification by visiting your GM Account or by speaking with an Advisor by pushing the blue OnStar button in your vehicle.
- Ensure you are enrolled in an eligible OnStar plan. Theft Alarm Notification is available in the Safety & Security Plan and the Essentials and Premium bundles.
- Set up your notification preference (e.g., phone, text message, email) for receiving notifications on your GM Account or through an Advisor.
- Every time you leave your vehicle, arm it by electronically locking your vehicle via the power door lock button or your Remote Key Fob or by using your vehicle mobile app* remote door lock feature.
For more information about plan options, visit our Plans page.
Most 2014 model year and newer vehicles are compatible with Theft Alarm Notification. Your vehicle must have a GM factory-installed theft-deterrent system and you must have an active service plan and be enrolled to receive alerts. Every time you leave your vehicle, you should arm it by electronically locking your vehicle via the power door lock button or your Remote Key Fob or by using the remote lock feature on your vehicle mobile app (if supported by your service plan).
If an equipped vehicle sensor is triggered (e.g., door ajar), a Theft Alarm Notification will be sent according to the notification preferences on your account.
To set up your Theft Alarm Notification preferences, visit your GM Account and log in into your account. You can also set up your preferences in your vehicle mobile app by tapping on your initials, and then Notification Preferences.
A Theft Alarm Notification can be sent via email or text message to the contact phone number(s) on file in your account. You can select one or both options or turn them both off if you no longer want to receive Theft Alarm Notification alerts. Text message* and email alerts will be selected as the default when you initially enroll in Theft Alarm Notification. If you need help setting up your preferences, contact an Advisor for assistance.
If you would like to enroll or unenroll from Theft Alarm Notification, you can contact OnStar Customer Service at 1.888.466.7827 and ask to speak with the Member Services Team.
U.S. Members may have multiple individuals receive notifications. All recipients must be listed on the account with the necessary contact information.
If your vehicle has been stolen or tampered with, file a police report and let them know you have OnStar enabled. If your vehicle has been stolen, the authorities can work with OnStar to help locate your vehicle and, in some cases, use Remote Ignition Block™* or Stolen Vehicle Slowdown,®* which are other services within the Stolen Vehicle Assistance suite of services.
After you receive a Theft Alarm Notification and file a report to law enforcement, OnStar can then send a remote signal that blocks the engine from starting.
After you receive a Theft Alarm Notification and file a report to law enforcement, once law enforcement confirms your vehicle has been stolen, OnStar Advisors can utilize GPS technology to help authorities locate your vehicle and, when conditions are appropriate, remotely slow it down.
Most insurance companies require a police report for vehicle damage or personal property theft. If your vehicle has been tampered with, contact local law enforcement to file a report and then contact your insurance company. In addition, contact OnStar to report the incident.
No. It is up to you to contact OnStar and/or law enforcement when you receive a Theft Alarm Notification. Theft Alarm Notification alerts are sent only to you. OnStar does not notify police of a Theft Alarm Notification.
If a Theft Alarm Notification is sent, a Theft Alarm Notification flag will appear in your OnStar Account in the Advisor’s system. OnStar Advisors can view the flag and escalate and/or provide further assistance as needed. If no action is taken, the Theft Alarm Notification alert will be removed automatically from your account after 48 hours.
The alert may specify the exact vehicle sensor that was triggered. There are two types of theft alerts:
- Content theft: This alert may indicate a content theft occurred if the vehicle’s alarm system was triggered when an attempt was made to enter the vehicle. (Note: An alarm system consists of many theft sensors that trigger and cause the alarm to go off. The vehicle must be armed electronically to enable the alarm system)
- Vehicle theft: This alert occurs when tampering is detected with the vehicle’s key cylinder. This can be triggered by an invalid key, screwdriver, foreign key fob or no key detected when trying to start the vehicle. The alarm does not sound with this type of theft event because it isn’t tied to the vehicle’s alarm system
Most Theft Alarm Notification alerts are for content theft, as they rely on theft sensors. Vehicle theft events do not occur with newer keyless start vehicles, since a thief can force the vehicle into NEUTRAL.
There are a few limitations that can prevent the Theft Alarm Notification system from sending an alert. If you are having problems, check these issues:
- Whether a valid key was used to start the vehicle
- If the vehicle was towed away and is not equipped with a tilt sensor
- Whether the vehicle was properly armed, meaning the doors were not electronically locked from either inside the vehicle, via the Remote Key Fob or your vehicle mobile app
- Your vehicle may not be equipped with the more advanced theft sensors, like glass-breakage or interior movement
- You do not currently have an active Safety & Security Plan that includes Theft Alarm Notification
- You do not currently have your account preference set to receive Theft Alarm Notification
- You do not have a valid/current contact method on file in your OnStar Account
Some vehicles have a “key learning” theft trigger, which will not sound the vehicle alarm when activated. The “key learning” theft notification is triggered when someone has made a copy of a valid key. If you requested to have a duplicate key made, the duplication process may trigger a notification to you.
A Theft Alarm Notification may also have been sent in error if your vehicle’s theft sensors were triggered without sounding the alert (e.g., someone or something bumped into your vehicle around a trigger point).
If your alarm was accidentally triggered and there is no problem with your vehicle, a Stolen Vehicle Assistance Advisor can reset the alert on your account and answer any further questions you may have. You can also open the text message notification you received and select the option to report it as a false alarm.
Once your service plan expires or is canceled, it may take up to 24 hours for the vehicle’s services to be fully deactivated. If you have additional questions, contact an Advisor for assistance.
No. If your vehicle’s valid key/key fob is used to access and drive it, you would not receive a Theft Alarm Notification in that case. The Theft Alarm Notification system has no way to detect who is driving away with valid keys. Therefore, in this situation, please contact your local law enforcement agency and then contact OnStar.