Detroit-based OnStar is launching a Bluetooth hands-free calling awareness campaign to help simplify the process of pairing cell phones to the hands-free technology.

An analysis of random, anonymous data collected from thousands of vehicles indicates only 45 percent of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners are pairing their cellular phones to a vehicle’s Bluetooth system, raising concerns that customers are unaware of the feature in their vehicle or believe connecting to be too difficult a process.

“What we’re learning is that many customers simply do not understand the technology, or they’re confused by how to pair their cell phone to a Bluetooth device,” said OnStar President Chris Preuss. “It’s about both educating the customer and alleviating technical challenges.”

A new Web site,, has been launched to provide clear instructions on how to pair specific devices. The site offers two ways to stay connected in most Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles: OnStar Hands-Free Calling or built-in Bluetooth connectivity. Through interactive features, consumers select their vehicle and mobile device to receive specific instructions on how to pair their device to the vehicle.

“There’s no question that cellular device use in the vehicle is and will continue to be one of the biggest safety challenges facing society,” Preuss said. “Technology will play a key role in mitigating this impact, but we cannot over-assume engagement just because we provide the capability. This education and awareness campaign is designed to encourage use of hands-free technology because we take driver distraction and safety very seriously.”

It’s easy for Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac customers to use hands-free technology. Bluetooth allows users to connect their mobile device to their vehicle and place and receive calls using steering wheel controls and voice recognition. The vehicle audio system allows users to hear the call through the speakers and respond using the built-in microphone. Once a phone is paired with Bluetooth, a customer’s mobile device will automatically connect to the vehicle when the ignition is turned on.

OnStar Hands-Free Calling allows OnStar subscribers to make calls from their vehicle using voice-activated dialing. Subscribers simply press the white phone icon button to dial a number by saying the number aloud or to answer an incoming call. Hands-Free Calling, with its externally mounted antennae, is specially designed for better reception and fewer dropped calls in remote areas and pockets of limited cellular reception.

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