As wireless network companies make room for 5G, automotive repair shops may want to make room for additional cars in the garage. 3G networks will be shut down, some as early as February 2022, to open up more bandwidth for the new 5G network. However, dozens of manufacturers have produced tens of thousands of vehicles that are only capable of 3G.
While it’s not clear just how many vehicles will be impacted, it’s safe to say it’s wide-ranging. Reports say many cars produced between 2010 and 2021 could go offline when the 3G network stops sending out signals at some point this year. The most noticeable malfunction will be with GPS, including traffic conditions and navigation instructions. Other vehicles will lose their connection to smartphones and emergency calling features.
Tesla recently announced that the Model S built before 2015 will lose connection in February 2022. As a result, owners have been encouraged to bring their car in to upgrade at the cost of $200. This investment may be worth it when you consider the vehicle has the summon feature, allowing owners to call the car to their location without a driver.
Upgrades Available While Network is Running
Toyota has informed consumers that 3G connections will no longer work as of November 1, 2022. However, owners are encouraged to contact their dealership to see if their vehicle is eligible for a free software upgrade. Suppose the car is not able to be upgraded. In that case, it will lose the ability to detect and notify authorities of a collision. In addition, if stolen, it will no longer track the vehicle, and emergency assistance will no longer work.
General Motors stated that the 2015 model year and newer would be affected by the 3G shutdown in February. GM has been offering software updates since last fall. The manufacturer says that OnStar will notify drivers to accept a software installation update.
It’s advisable to check the website of the manufacturer of your vehicle for more information. It may be as simple as downloading a free software upgrade. However, that upgrade must be down before the network shuts down. Several carriers are shutting down networks in the coming weeks when many people will suddenly be aware of this issue. So avoid the rush, and get to the website or the garage now.