Hyundai To Abandon First-Gen BlueLink, Deactivates Safety Features
9 March 2021 - motor1
Some tech comes with an expiration date.
Technology has infiltrated the modern-day automobile, bringing a host of infotainment goodies and advanced safety features to the masses. But the technology has its downsides, as a handful of Hyundai owners will soon discover. Cars Direct reports that the automaker has informed its dealers that it'll no longer support its first-generation BlueLink telematic services in select 2012-2016 models, which will sever service for several safety features.
The cause of the service discontinuation is 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 US. Companies in other countries began phasing out the tech as far back as 2008. Sprint, now owned by T-Mobile, will see its 2G network shutter next year.
The loss of cellular service means affected Hyundai models will lose some functionality. The notice Hyundai sent to dealers lists Automatic Crash Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Tracking, and more will be affected by the network shutdown. Hyundai says that annual subscription holders will get a prorated refund, while those on monthly plans will continue until service ends at the end of the year.
Affected vehicles include all 2012-2014 BlueLink-equipped models and all 2015 models except for the Sonata with navigation and Genesis. For 2016 models, the service stoppage 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 will likely continue to surface. Outdated technology in cars could easily lose support from automakers, which may choose to shutter services or discontinue updating older models altogether. It's just another thing car buyers should be aware of before laying down their hard-earned cash on some fancy features that may not work down the road.