5G Switch Impacts Vehicle Connectivity, Safety

May 4, 2022

As 3G gets phased out, many vehicles reliant on that network may lose certain safety and convenience features permanently. 

May 4, 2022—5G is the the newest network for smartphones and wireless devices, and it is the fastest one to date. But unfortunately, in order to make room for new technology some older versions must be phased out.

According to CBS 46, this is a very relevant issue in the automotive market. All major cellular carriers plan on shutting down their dated 3G networks by the end of this year, and this poses problem for many vehicles with technology that relies on 3G networks.

This doesn't affect just a small sample, by any means. Millions of cars have internet connectivity built in that utilizes 3G. This technology may be connected to some major features including the ability to call for help in the event of a crash, or being able to remotely start the vehicle.

In some cases, affected vehicles will just need an update to their hardware or software. But that is not the reality for all models. Some vehicles from Chrysler, Dodge, Hyundai, Jeep, Lexus, Nissan, Ram and Toyota could permanently lose their connections during this network shift. 

There has been 3G technology implemented into vehicles as recently as 2019. 

Some automakers like Ford and Mazda planned ahead, connecting instead to a driver's cell phone when a crash occurs. 

But according to CBS 46, there are already examples of how vehicles are getting left in a technological lurch. 

Automakers like Stellantis will promote an upgrade option for affected vehicles that will come at an additional charge to let drivers keep their convenience features, but it omits the crash notification features entirely. 

Honda sent out notifications to owners of their affected vehicles instructing them to update their software before February 22, 2022. For those that did not do that prior to the cut off date, they may have to pay upwards of $900 in order to retain features.

Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, and Lexus have not announced any plans to upgrade their connectivity. 

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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