In 2022, 3G connectivity will no longer be viable. That won’t matter to most modern smartphones, but many cars (even some as recently as the 2021 model year) still rely on this old network for at least part of their functionality. While your vehicle’s not suddenly in danger of stalling out, the situation will be different for different cars. Our friends at The Drive have created a great resource to help you figure out what to do, check it out here.
Welcome to Headlight. This is a daily news feature that lights up one current event in the car world and breaks it down by three simple subheadings: What Happened, Why It Matters, and What To Look For Next. Look for it in the morning (Eastern time) every weekday. Except for today, where it’s a little late (sorry!)
The sunsetting of 3G cellular networks will start as soon as January 1, 2022. Straight from the FCC:
- AT&T announced that it will finish shutting down its 3G network by February 2022.
- Verizon announced that will finish shutting down its 3G network by December 31, 2022.
- T-Mobile announced that it will finish shutting down Sprint’s 3G CDMA network by March 31, 2022 and Sprint’s 4G LTE network by June 30, 2022. It also announced it will shut down T-Mobile’s 3G UMTS network by July 1, 2022, but has not yet announced a shutdown date for its 2G network.
Why It Matters
Many modern cars, especially luxury vehicles, use 3G networks for things like owner apps, emergency call services, infotainment and navigation-system functions, and of course logging data.
As Rob Stumpf said in his comprehensive writeup for The Drive: “For some cars, this means an over-the-air-update or a hardware swap at a dealership. For others, it’s the end of the road for connected services.” Naturally, if you own a car that was built in approximately the last decade, you’ll want to see if your vehicle will need (or is eligible for) an upgrade. Or if not, what services you might be losing as a result of the end of 3G. Keep in mind that not all automakers will necessarily upgrade your vehicle for free, either. So you’ll have to do your own cost/benefit analysis once you talk to a dealership and figure out what exactly you’ll be losing and what the price is to get it back.
What To Look For Next
For a detailed breakdown on how the 2022 3G shutdown could screw with your car, check out The Drive‘s post at that linked bit of text.
If you just want to quickly scan the list to see if your car will need attention, we’ve pulled The Drive‘s right over for you. This rundown includes “every car that’s going to be impacted by the sunsetting of the AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon 3G networks in 2022, with links to the official OEM pages listing which services will be discontinued or altered.”
If your car is on there, give a local dealership a shout and see what they can do for you.
- MDX (2014-2017)
- ILX (2016-2017)
- RDX (2016-2017)
- RDX (2019-2021)
- RLX (2014-2016)
- TLX (2015-2017)
- NSX (2017)
- A3 e-Tron (2016-2018)
- A4/Allroad (2013-2018)
- A5 (2013-2018)
- A6 (2012-2015)
- A7 (2012-2015)
- A8 (2012-2018)
- RS 5 (2019)
- Q3 (2015-2018)
- Q5 (2013-2018)
- Q7 (2012-2018)
- Certain models produced prior to 2020
- Certain models produced prior to 2019
- General Motors
- General Motors acknowledged that certain models made between 2015 and 2021 across its fleet will be affected, but it did not break down which specific vehicles across its various sub-brands of Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. The Drive did manage to track down a technical service bulletin that indicates almost every post-2015 model is affected to some degree, which would make sense given how prevalent OnStar is in GM cars.
- Accord (Touring trim, 2018-2020)
- Odyssey (Touring and Elite trims, 2018-2020)
- Insight (Touring trim, 2019-2020)
- Passport (Touring and Elite trims, 2019-2021)
- Pilot (Touring, Slite, and Black Edition trims, 2019-2022)
- All Models (2010-2017)
- GX (2018)
- CX-3 (2016-2019)
- CX-5 (2016-2020)
- CX-9 (2016-2020)
- Mazda3 (2016-2018)
- Mazda6 (2016-2019)
- Eclipse Cross (All, telematics-equipped)
- Outlander (All, telematics-equipped)
- 911 (2017-2019)
- 918 Spyder (2014)
- 718 (2017-2021)
- Cayenne (2015-2019)
- Macan (2017-2018)
- Panamera (2014-2018)
- Stellantis acknowledged that some models across its fleet will be affected, but it did not break down which specific vehicles across its various sub-brands of Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, and Ram.
- Crosstrek (2016-2019)
- Forester (2016-2018)
- Legacy (2016-2018)
- Impreza (2016-2018)
- WRX (2017-2018)
- WRX STI (2017-2018)
- Outback (2016-2018)
- Model S (Built before June 2015)
- 4Runner (2010-2019)
- Avalon (2013-2018)
- Camry (2013-2017)
- Highlander (2014-2018)
- Land Cruiser (2011-2017)
- Mirai (2016-2017)
- Prius (2010-2016)
- Prius Plug-in (2012-2015)
- Prius V (2012-2016)
- RAV4 EV (2012-2014)
- Sienna (2011-2017)
- Atlas (2018-2019)
- Arteon (2018-2019)
- Beetle (2014-2019)
- CC (2014-2018)
- Eos (2014-2017)
- Golf/Golf R/eGolf/Golf Sportwagen/Golf GTI (2014-2019)
- Jetta (2014-2019)
- Passat (2014-2019)
- Tiguan (2014-2019)
- S60 (2015.5-2018
- V60 (2015.5-2018)
- V60 Cross Country (2015.5-2018)
- XC60 (2015.5-2017)
- XC70 (2015.5-2016)
- XC90 (2016)
The following automakers have told us that its U.S. vehicles are unaffected by the end of 3G:
The following automakers did not provide information by publication time:
- Land Rover
Good luck! If you’re so inclined, we’d love to hear about your experience getting your car upgraded in the comment section.
What to read next:
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- Cadillac should do its own version of Hyundai’s Grandeur concept with a bustle-back Seville.
- Chris sold his BMW ZHP because it wasn’t the dream he wanted it to be.
- Reminisce with Peter Nelson about the Little Tikes Sport Coupe, the first car that taught him driving dynamics.