Volkswagen of America Inc. on Wednesday said it will offer OnStar as an option on its new Passat W8 sedan and wagon next year.
The automaker did not reveal timing for the introduction on other vehicles but said it eventually plans to offer OnStar either as an option or standard equipment on all of its models in the United States and Canada.
OnStar is General Motors' telematics subsidiary that provides route guidance, emergency notification and concierge services through a phone embedded in the vehicle. In addition to GM, Audi, Acura, and Lexus offer the OnStar system. Isuzuand Subaru plan to introduce it in the 2003 model year.
The German automaker will brand the system "Volkswagen Telematics by OnStar."
VW customers will be able to choose from three OnStar packages:
1. Safe and Sound, which includes roadside assistance, stolen-vehicle tracking and remote door-unlocking service for $16.95 a month.
2. Directions and Connections, which adds route guidance and limited concierge service for $34.95 a month.
3. Luxury and Leisure, which adds unlimited access to a concierge, bringing the cost to $69.95 a month. The concierge can make dinner reservations, order concert tickets or even plan a customer's birthday party.
VW buyers also will be able to subscribe to OnStar's Personal Calling, a hands-free phone system, and Virtual Advisor, which provides drivers with Internet-based information such as news and traffic reports.