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Stolen Vehicle Assistance: How OnStar Helps Keep Your Ride Safe

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From Theft Alarm Notification to location and recovery, OnStar has your back when it comes to protecting your vehicle from theft.

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From Theft Alarm Notification to location and recovery, OnStar has your back when it comes to protecting your vehicle from theft.

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When it comes to protecting your vehicle from theft, we all know the general rules: park in well-lit areas, double-check your vehicle is locked before you leave it and always keep your valuables out of sight.

However, no amount of preparation can prevent a determined thief. When the unexpected happens, OnStar Stolen Vehicle Assistance*18 employs sophisticated technology and a specially trained team of Stolen Vehicle Assistance Advisors to help law enforcement quickly and safely recover your vehicle.

+ OnStar Stolen Vehicle Assistance in action. Watch what happens when police move in to recover OnStar Member Janet Gosch’s SUV after it was stolen with her mother and granddaughter inside.

Every second matters

When a vehicle is stolen, every second that goes by makes it less likely the vehicle will be recovered. That’s why your first line of defense is OnStar Theft Alarm Notification.*19 If the vehicle is equipped with a factory-installed alarm system and the doors are locked electronically, OnStar can immediately alert Members via text, email or phone call when their vehicle’s alarm sounds. If your vehicle has been stolen, Theft Alarm Notification allows you to start the recovery process quickly.

A male OnStar Advisor talks into a headset while on a computer.
Stolen Vehicle Assistance Advisors are ready to help if your vehicle is stolen.

Locating your vehicle

After reporting the vehicle stolen to law enforcement, contact an OnStar Advisor at 1.888.4ONSTAR to begin the process of locating and recovering your vehicle. Built-in GPS technology can help the Advisor find your vehicle and relay its location to the proper authorities.


If the vehicle is parked and turned off, the OnStar Advisor can use Remote Ignition Block™*18 to prevent the engine from being restarted, allowing the police to recover the vehicle. If the vehicle is moving and after police have confirmed the vehicle is in sight, the Advisor can activate its emergency flashers — unbeknownst to the thief — for verification purposes.

When authorities confirm conditions are appropriate, the Advisor can activate Stolen Vehicle Slowdown,®*18 which gradually slows the vehicle to an idle speed. All that’s left for police to do is to give you a call and let you know the good news. OnStar’s technology and strong partnerships with law enforcement have helped recover stolen vehicles and capture thieves since 1996.

A female OnStar Advisor wears a headset and looks at the camera.
OnStar Advisors can use technology such as Remote Ignition Block and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown to help recover your vehicle.

In 2016, more than 765,000 vehicle thefts were reported in the United States, an increase of 7.4 percent from the previous year. Many of those vehicles were never recovered. But with Stolen Vehicle Assistance, you can have a leg up on thieves — even after they think they’ve gotten away scot-free.