By on September 5, 2015

2016 Lexus ES 350

New Lexus cars will regularly report to dealerships their conditions and any engine trouble, Automotive News reported.

The service, which is dubbed Enform Service Connect, will be added to new Lexus models starting with the 2016 ES. The opt-in service will be bundled with the Enform connectivity service, which costs $139 each year after the first year.

According to the report, the vehicle will submit via telematics information about the car’s condition and mileage to Lexus service locations, who may call owners to schedule maintenance. A monthly report may be generated for owners to see their cars’ statuses and to totally remind you not to cheat on your local Lexus dealer with that other Jiffy Lube, OK?

Lexus says the service will be opt-in for owners. If an owner notices a warning light, they would still have to call into the dealer and provide a VIN for technicians to diagnose the car’s problems.

So you know, it’s basically OnStar and nothing could go wrong with that, right?

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26 Comments on “New Lexus Cars Will Phone Home, Report Engine Status...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If it’s like the telematics system in my 12 Leaf, it’s not OnStar. Not much to see here.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      You probably already know that all these new systems “phone home” even if you do not subscribe to the service.

      Before we turned over the Fobs of our 2012 Grand Cherokee to our grand daughter after she got married, I took it in to a Jeep dealership for a complete bumper to bumper checkup.

      This was the first time it was ever at a dealership, anywhere, yet they had a complete printout of everything that ever happened with it, like when the oil change monitor was reset, the fastest it was ever driven (105.9mph), the mileage — a whole slew of data kept spitting out of the printer.

      The GC came with a built-in NAV system but we never subscribed to the service, yet the vehicle must have sent all this info without our consent.

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        ….yet the vehicle must have sent all this info without our consent….

        That should make your blood boil. It angers me just to hear it. I can only imaging what my car must be sending…and I don’t have all that wide open space to run that you do…not for another four years anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          Ion

          Haven’t you all heard of the “black box”. You see it mentioned all the time in accidents or recalls. The car’s not actively reporting back to mother base but it is data logging.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Ion, this data popped out BEFORE the OBDII plug was inserted.

            This data pops out when the VIN is scanned and sent to Chrysler over the dealernet while the service manager does the paperwork, BEFORE the vehicle is worked on.

            Ditto with our 2015 Sequoia (which we take in regular as clockwork for periodic maintenance because it is a keeper.) But that data is cumulative because of our periodic visits.

            There were several articles published about “Who owns your vehicle data” and “Who owns your vehicle” and it was all driven by the same invasive snooping conducted by the US government and law enforcement. Drive by any Border Patrol post and count the cameras taking your picture.

            No wonder hackers can have a field day with these new systems even if the owners do not subscribe to On-Star or like services. Excellent excuse for rental companies to charge you more if you speed or go out of the rental zone.

            We must assume that in today’s America we are constantly being monitored everywhere, on the street, on the internet, even in our cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Ion

            It’s not impossible. Vehicles equipped with an active mbrace subscription are recently able to transmit data for service purposes, the service article didn’t specify the age of the vehicles. The 2012 Cherokee does share components with the W166.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        There is absolutely ZERO telematics capability in a 2012 Grand Cherokee. There isn’t a cellular connection to communicate anywhere. The Hughes telematics system never made it into production.

        And with the recalls on the 2012 GC, you NEVER took it in for repair?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Never. And still not repaired to this day. No Diode Board parts, inspected Brake Booster myself, inspected Vanity Mirror wiring myself, keep filling PS reservoir myself, etc etc.

          Did get the latest and the greatest ECU EEPROM Flash, though, this visit. No longer stutters and stumbles under load and the transmission no longer hunts and pecks going up the mountain. That reflash really helped.

          BTW, I have the printout the dealership gave me, ZERO telematics capability not withstanding. None of that sch1t came out of the OBDII port.

        • 0 avatar
          sastexan

          Wrong. Uconnect (which highdesertcat’s JGC has, since he said he has the nav system) uses Sprint cellular to “talk” to home base. You also get a free subscription to the various XM add ons, like traffic, which uses the cellular. So there’s a lot of communication going on already, whether or not the driver is aware.

          http://www.wired.com/2015/07/patch-chrysler-vehicle-now-wireless-hacking-technique/

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        @highdesertcat – the data your service department had is actually stored in the key fob. That’s why they pop the fob into an “RF” reader ring while they’re discussing service options with you.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Find and cut the transmission method.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Not my worry anymore.

          When she got married we gave my wife’s 2012 GC to our grand daughter; and her dad, my oldest son, gave his 2012 GC SRT8, to his new son-in-law, as a wedding present.

          It was an embarrassment to watch a USAF Captain drive a Wrangler to work. But he’ll keep his beat-up old Wrangler.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Anything with onboard data processing is a snitch box. Computers are like female students, they’re always taking notes.

      Even my CPAP machine’s log files are amazing.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I should add that in my Leaf, it annoyingly asks your permission to send this data upon every single start. I remember Andy Palmer of Nissan explaining that they had to ask drivers every time, otherwise the company would risk 4th Amendment violations.

      In 3 years I’ve probably accepted their request 3000-5000 times.

  • avatar
    Fred

    hacking of cars has just begun

    http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/08/highway-to-hack-why-were-just-at-the-beginning-of-the-auto-hacking-era/

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Oh, you mean like OnStar* has done (minus the last mile) for almost two decades?

    I get e-mail reports each month, and service reminders.

    Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap… (in my best Stewie voice)

    * Reminder that OnStar wasn’t just in GM vehicles historically. I see this as about as exciting as Apple announcing that OSX 9 will have ad blockers for Safari – congrats for catching up to 2006 Apple.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      For better or worse, GM has been absolutely ahead of everyone else in the world of vehicle Telematics. Everything else is either a poor copy, or a version of GM’s system that other manufacturer bought.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    Given that the system will send the information back to Lexus HQ regardless of whether you sign up or not, it sounds more like you’re just paying to see what your car said about you.
    I’m having flashbacks to paying off an over inquisitive little sister so I’ll know what to admit to and what to keep denying.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Ring, ring! Hello, I’m a Lexus, and I’m fugly.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Of course, in the true spirit of 21st century malice, this data will be collected to spam you with ads from dealership service departments. Oh, and a bombardment of paper mail, because used-car supplies are low, especially ’16 ES’s, and they’ll give you a great deal on a your trade in for a new car.

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    From this year, Mercedes cars will also do this, no need to subscribe to anything, they have a built-in GSM module that sends VIN+Data to Mercedes HQ. Not just engine status.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    I have decided to never buy a car that communicates through the internet. My next vehicle will have a simple, robust fuel-injection system, a simple automatic trans and a CD-changer. I’m thinking a late 90s GMC Yukon.

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