“I got Bluetooth!” “Me too!”
“I got a rock…”
Yes, that famous Charlie Brown line is what many new Pontiac G8 owners are saying. See, the Pontiac web site clearly lists Bluetooth as an included feature for the 2009 model year. Yet, many who are snapping up these discontinued-despite-Vice-Chairman-Bob-Lutz-saying-it’s-better-than-sliced-bread-wanting-to-save-it cars (yes, the G8 saga is that long)… are finding Bluetooth is missing.
Here’s what happened, according to GM. The initial 2009 model marketing for the Pontiac G8 didn’t include Bluetooth. But, mid-year they added it as a last-ditch effort to surge faltering sales (this is a recession, and BMW 5-series best-ers still don’t sell at $24,000).
Unfortunately, GM didn’t note that this was a mid-year addition. And, with so many G8s sitting in inventory, many wound up test-driving a G8 with Bluetooth, and signing for a G8 without Bluetooth.
Some dealers have reportedly said “go **** yourself” literally to customers who are upset about the Bluetooth bait-and-switch. Worse, the Bluetooth system is configured via OnStar, purely from voice commands. If you don’t have a conversation with the car about its Bluetooth abilities (or lack thereof), you have no way of knowing from a visual inspection. Savvy G8 shoppers can check for a serial number beginning with L3, the third revision which added Bluetooth (L2 was to take care of initial recall issues).
GM says that there is no easy fix to the problem. The OnStar hardware is a mess to replace. Some customers that have complained for countless hours, up to the top tiers of GM have gotten some assistance. Pontiac appears to be handling the matter on a case-by-case basis, based on the rage-meter of how enraged a customer is. At least one customer has gotten GM to instruct a dealer to swap out the OnStar gear free of charge with “BlueStar” (Bluetooth-enabled OnStar) hardware.
But, buyer beware. Just because the 2009 Pontiac G8 web site says it has Bluetooth, doesn’t mean it really does. GM has said to some customers that they are working on a product-wide solution, but I wouldn’t hold my breath… even though GM may genuinely be working on a solution, the last thing I would want as a mobile enthusiast, is to have an uphill battle to get Bluetooth in my car. You really don’t want to hate something you’ll be paying on for awhile.
Personal note: I am still warming up to buying a G8 GT myself, but I typically buy CPOs. Yes, Pontiac is going away, and I’d love to buy one to “show the Auto Task Force” that forcing Pontiac’s closure was a mistake. But, it’s not the right time to be making $5,000 political statements. I’d rather someone else pay $1/mile to wear in the car.
I am one of the people who got the non-bluetooth G8 Sedan. I bought my car on July 31 2009. My dealer told me that it had bluetooth. When it wouldn’t work i called Pontiac and they said that all models made after February 2009 have it. My dealer said my car was manufactured in June 2009. I really hope that a conversion kit or a recall happens, because i don’t want to spend $1000+ replacing the stereo with a bluetooth compatible one especially since i won’t even get the steering wheel controls. The G8 isn’t exactly feature rich, so losing one of the few features that i care about really has me pissed off.
I was trying to hook up my bluetooth recently..not knowing it dosent work!!!. I have talked to pontiac twice and they say its not apart of my car….Ive also talked to the dealership and the lady that sold me the car says it has it and the manager of the dealership.
As I read they messages I can’t help but wonder why the dealership thinks that all the 2009 g8s have bluetooth. If you go to g8.com/bluetooth..there is the g8 stating it has it. But all the networks are american? Pontaic doesn’t know why…
I’m headed to the dealership this weekend since the manager thinks he can hook it up..what a joke.
I’ve yet to hear of one dealer “hooking it up” without getting clearance from GM/Pontiac in Detroit. Only Pontiac customer service can authorize replacing the OnStar with “BlueStar” hardware.
Likely, your dealer either ran your VIN and knows it does have Bluetooth, and this is just a setup issue. Or, the dealer is going to try and appease you with some cheap Bluetooth add-on/integration mod.
Either way, your best bet is to hammer Pontiac customer service and demand they authorize the dealer to swap out the OnStar hardware with Bluetooth-enabled OnStar hardware. If they tell you that’s impossible, I assure you, it has been authorized in the past and is quite possible.
Just got off the phone with GM. I was told there is no bluetooth in my G8 that I just purchased Friday!!! The dealer said there was one. Not to mention I went out of state to get it, thinking I was getting what I wanted. OMG I just spent a TON of money for my first brand new car and it doesn’t even have what I wanted. I am not being dramatic when I say….I’m going to be ILL!!
Immediately contact your dealer, and also call back GM/Pontiac and explain that others have been in this situation, and that they have received OnStar replacement hardware due to the G8 Bluetooth debacle.
Legally, your case is against the dealer that misled you, but it’s a he-said-she-said… unless the window tag does list Bluetooth (odds are, it doesn’t). I wish you luck, but thus far, there have been few reports of GM offering up the BlueStar hardware without serious effort.
On the test drive the dealer and I talked about the bluetooth even said he wished he had one…then when I asked for it to be set up before I left, but after I paid, he messed with it for 10 min. Then marked the bluetooth set up page with a sticky and told me he had another appointment.
I thought about the whole day all the way home (3 hrs.) I just new something wasn’t right but didn’t follow my gut.
Shame on me for not doing more research.
I have been on the phone with Pontiac customer service for the past two weeks about the bluetooth issue in my G8. I was told by the dealer that it was an easily correctable issue, only to find out after the purchase that it was not going to be installed. Finally after yet another conversation with Pontiac today, they told me they spoke to my dealership and that the service department said it couldn’t be done. I don’t understand why a manufacturer would have to call a dealership to inquire about their own vehicles? When I mentioned that I had heard of it done in the past, he simply said there was nothing he could do and knew of no one else to refer me to. I have been a loyal GM/Pontiac customer for over 9 years now and am a bit disappointed with the fact that, even now as they fade, they will still now make things right for those that stood by them. I just wish I knew who had success with the installation and who they spoke to or what they did to make it happen.
Still no luck. Now the person I was talking to at GM isn’t answering. I have left 3 messages but as of now nothing. The dealership sent a letter yesterday with a card for a free oil change??? Are they kidding?
Pontiac was likely calling the manufacturer to verify that the sticker tag did not have Bluetooth listed. If it did, then they would clearly be obligated to install the (very expensive) replacement hardware.
Your only choice, at this point, will be to sue the dealership in small claims court, for the cost of the BlueStar hardware. You’ll need to get a quote or two from other dealerships, which will be hard to get as they technically aren’t supposed to ever install BlueStar in a pre-BlueStar vehicle.
You might have a claim against GM for false or misleading advertising, but it’s a much more difficult case. The case against the dealer is more clear, as they told you it had Bluetooth before you drove off the lot.
Of course, you will have to anticipate the dealer professing in court that they never said Bluetooth was in the car, so you are far from guaranteed victory in court either. Bringing in online articles (like this one, and others) that chronicle the debacle will help establish that dealers are doing this in a widespread manner.
GM said nothing for them to do cause the dealership is independent. Dealer is offering a GPS with bluetooth.
I was asked how far do I want to take this…..I said I’m still trying to get only what I was told I was paying for.
You might want to settle for the BlueSTAR hack install job:
If they are negotiating, that would be a middle ground. Keep in mind you would lose OnStar though.
But I would first stand firm on asking for the part number and price for the 2009.5 OnStar G8 module. You should know the same info the dealer knows before negotiating. Confirm the price with the parts department of another dealership.
As to GM… I would get back in contact with them and remind them that they have acknowledged their role in this matter to other customers in the past. It was Pontiac that labeled Bluetooth as standard on the G8 product pages, after the 2009.5 upgrade. And, they did not note that Bluetooth was a mid-year addition. You do have a case against GM, but like I said… it’s a more difficult uphill battle.
Dealer is now saying he can get a modual but once he gets it he has to send it out to be reprogramed?? Is this the one that will disable my onstar that they talked me into extending for 2 more years?($300.00)
You’d have to ask the dealer. There’s no way to know for sure from what he described.
I would suspect that if the unit is being sent back to GM though, that it is being replaced with another GM part. Just ask the dealer if the reprogrammed unit will continue to work with OnStar 911, as well as OnStar Bluetooth services. If it won’t, it’s the aftermarket part.
If the dealer is ordering OnStar w Bluetooth hardware from another vehicle (say, a 2009.5 G8) then it is supposed to be reprogrammed to match the VIN. But, I’m not sure with GM’s protocol is for that. It should be do-able at the dealership.
Here is the latest e-mail from the dealer:
Theoretically” it will take less than one hour to re-install the
reprogrammed module. I just want to set your expectations to the reality of
the situation. We are going by a third party (non-gm) recommendation for
this repair. So if everything goes according to their recommendation, this
“reprogrammed” module will work with both the Onstar and blue tooth
capabilities. However, neither GM nor our technicians have had any
experience with such a repair. This was the only other option available
besides the after-market GPS with blue tooth, which you declined. I am
personally crossing my fingers that this works. We have done everything that
is recommended to this point. But it might not go as smooth as planned. You
need to be prepared to understand that no one at our dealership has the
expertise to do anything other than install the re-programmed module. If it
doesn’t work, my guess is that we will call the company that reprogrammed
the module and ask for help and assistance. But we do not have any
warranties or guarantees from them. Potentially we could be back to square
one…let’s hope not.
Your investment is your time. My investment is $400 in the part plus $100 in
labor. GM is not participating one dime.
I’m looking for bluetooth connectivity to my G8 too to interface the Blaupunk stereo with my iPhone. I wasn’t misled by the dealership (I’d be pissed off, too) I just wasn’t thinking about it at the time of the purchase.
Still, the reality is that the G8 is an exceptional car. By far, the best value in a performance sedan. If given the chance to exchange your G8 for say a Maxima that has bluetooth and a laundry list of consumer electronic gadgets, I doubt you would. So, please, relax, enjoy, and write a check for 25 dollars to Haiti relief aid. You’ll feel beter.
Wow glad I found this link.
I bought my g8 at the end of Dec 2009 I couldn’t get the bluetooth to program. Two weeks ago I called onstar they told me my car had blue tooth included and the fact that when I tried to program it (it only would say onstar ready) was a problem with the hardware and I would need to take it to the dealer to be repaired. Before I could make a appointment I get a call back from onstar a week later saying he was wrong a week earlier and that my car is not equiped with bluetooth and I would need to talk to the dealer that I purchased the car from.
Any sugestions on who I should call at pontiac? I fear I will not get any where with the dealer.
Can someone explain the L2 comment? “L2 was to take care of initial recall issues” I have L2 in my serial number
The L2 G8’s don’t have bluetooth. The L3 G8’s have bluetooth. Did the dealer tell you the car had bluetooth?
Can’t say I asked directly about this car that I bought when I first looked at them over the summer I was told that they all had blue tooth and I checked the pontiac site and the gm bluetooth site. I didn’t realize I had a problem until I tried to program it. I was relying on the spec on the site I went off on the onstar rep and basicly put it this was I didn’t ask if the car actually have valves in the engine or brakes on the car I was trusting the manufacturing information on the car. I really feel this is more of a GM problem then a dealer problem unless you know to check the VIN the only way to really know is when you try to program it. I mean it mentions nothing on the sticker about carpet in the trunk but I have carpet in my trunk. Do you have to check everything on the car to assure that you are not being lied to this should be cover under some type of consumer protection. The manufacture goofed in advertising this if not all 2009 had it they should be forced to compensate or fix the problem.
I’ll give a posting when I get further into the discussion with the dealer.
Here’s the serial breakdown (guess it wasn’t that clear in my original post):
L1 – 2008 Pontiac G8
L2 – 2009 Pontiac G8 with XM and recall issues fixed
L3 – 2009.5 Pontiac G8 with Bluetooth
After my reply to the dealers silly e-mail where he implied that he had more invested in my ($32000.00,) car than I had, he actually replaced my onstar module. He even picked up my car with a flat bed truck in order to keep from adding a few hundred miles to my odometer. Sweet Success!!… My bluetooth is up and working. Thanks for the help!
TAMMY YOU ROCK!!!!
Tammy, can I get your dealership’s name so that I can have my dealership contact them. Thanks!
Mathews Buick, Marion In.
How can you add the bluetooth to an 09′ G8 that has Onstart but didn’t come with bluetooth?
I bought my Pontiac G8 in Sept of 2009 and my husbnd in Dec 2009 and both of us understtod that are cars were equiped with blue tooth. We did not try to activate it right away until we were told that there are a few communities around that are going to start issuing tickets for being on your cell phone. At that point we both talked with on-star and they are the ones that told us our cars did not have the blue tooth module. I have been going round and round with Pontiac and GM and they just don’t care that they miss lead us. because every thing I have read states my car has blue tooth standard. So any suggetions? My dealer does not no what to do and GM does not care one way or the other.
If you were issued documents from the dealer (such as a vehicle info sheet) that says the G8 has Bluetooth, then you must sue the dealer (probably in small claims court). The dealer can then pursue GM if they were misinformed by GM about your G8 having Bluetooth.
The dealer has a regional contact that has to own these kind of issues, I would try pressuring the dealer’s top manager and/or owner directly and inform them that the documentation they issued to you makes them liable to replace the entire OnStar system at aftermarket cost.
I just wanted to tell everyone that you can get factory bluetooth for your G8 I just did. All the dealer had to do was order a new unprogramed VCIM mod. that will work with bluetooth and program it to your car and then they must call onstar and tell them they replaced your old VCIM and the onstar will work also. Mine works great and just like it should from the factory It took a lot of researching on my part and some on the dealer but we fixed the problem and all is well. The only thing you must check is if you do not have steering wheel controls, make sure the wiring is correct for your car to have bluetooth, my does so there was no issue. The dealership that I was working with is Mc Curly Integirty Chevy in Pasco Washington Phone number is 509-547-5555 and talk to Mike Zihlar or have the dealership you are working with call them and I am sure Mike can tell them exactly how to fix the G8 Bluetooth Problem. And remember that only a dealer can order new unprogramed VCIM’s and don’t let them get to you because a new VCIM without a core for return is only $307.00 with a core its around $250.00
If anyone needs more info email me and I will help anyway I can.
Don’t let your dealer try and tell you the codes for your car does not allow Bluetooth because my codes did not allow it and I still got them to install it.