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OnStar joins Verizon lawsuits over wireless robocalls

June 19, 2009

OnStar is joining a lawsuit filed by Verizon Wireless over the use of automatic dialers by telemarketers to sell auto warranties to cell phone customers. Verizon said it is updating the lawsuit to name additional companies as defendants.

OnStar, which provides wireless connections to emergency services to millions of vehicles in the United States using the Verizon Wireless network, joined the lawsuit as its customers' vehicles received more than 400,000 telemarketing calls during the same time period.

Since late February, Verizon Wireless customers and employees have received more than 8 million illegal calls offering auto warranties, the company said.

"These telemarketers continue to prey on our customers using illegal methods to reach them on their wireless phones," said Steven E. Zipperstein, vice president and general counsel at Verizon Wireless. "This litigation is aimed not just at the telemarketers, but also at those who enable their unlawful conduct with technological assistance. We will not rest until they stop invading our customers' privacy."

The lawsuit amends a complaint filed in April 2009 and alleges violations of the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which makes it illegal to use an autodialer to make calls to wireless phones, as well as state fraud and privacy laws.

Verizon Wireless and OnStar are seeking permanent injunctions against these companies as well as monetary damages.

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