GM Exec – We blanked out Bluetooth (for Onstar)

I just wanted to note this one for the record.

I had many battles with the people at SaabUSA back in the days of GM ownership. Issues like diesel, Hirsch and one of the more common complaints, the lack of Bluetooth.

I can’t remember the excuses I was given as to why GM didn’t fit Bluetooth into US-market Saabs, but we always had knew the real reason, even if they’d never come out and say it directly – OnStar.

The new chief of OnStar, Chris Preuss, has just appeared on Autoline After Hours and whilst he’s talking about the Pontiac G8, he’s pretty much confirmed what happened with Saab as well (around 48 mins in).

The Bluetooth phenomena….it’s part of the bad old days [where] we blanked out Bluetooth because someone wanted to sell more OnStar handsfree calling minutes and it wasn’t exactly a cogent call….

Darn right, it wasn’t.

I lost track of how many people complained to me about the lack of Bluetooth availablility in the US. It stood out like the dog’s proverbials because it was available everywhere else. Eventually, we all just recognised the BS being fed and let it slide, but the issue still raised its head from time to time until Bluetooth became available around 2009.

It was a classic GM public relations management play. I just hope the new SCNA has given up the GMPR playbook, because the old one sucked. It alienated customers on a lot of occasions.

Past recognised. Non-existant apology accepted. Time to move on.

Question: Bluetooth and the Saab 9-3

UPDATE below


Hi all,

Work on the update is progressing well.

I thought I’d bring this question from comments on to the front page so that any of you can provide your experience to help out:

…..could someone who owns a current generation 9-3 tell me is a Bluetooth phone option worth its money? I’d like to order a 9-3 this year, and [am] thinking about adding Bluetooth to the configuration, but it costs almost 650 Euros. Several people I asked say it doesn’t work well – is that true?

A few have already chimed in via comments with their opinion on how it works (seems to go quite well, according to them).

If you’ve got any experience, please let us know.


As noted in comments, a large part of any operational problems appears to be concerned with phones rather than the Bluetooth system in the Saab 9-3.

Thanks to Saab99 in comments, you can access a PDF showing the various phones tested by Saab and their compatibility with the system.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.