[Update] An EA spokesperson has told Shacknews that this report was incorrect. Here's the company's official comment on the expiring online pass situation.
On Friday, Shacknews reported some users were experiencing issues redeeming the one-use 'Online Pass' code included in select EA games to unlock multiplayer features. Though EA has yet to respond to our inquires, the company did offer some explanation for the situation.
Essentially, EA states that "a few titles will have a time limit on their use, even for new purchases."
EA detailed its policy on Online Passes to Joystiq over the weekend. According to EA, "as a rule, no Online Pass should expire," meaning that the functionality unlocked with the one-use code won't turn off over time, which is a situation that was never in question.
The report cites Dragon Age 2 as one title that has an expiring Online Pass, which will cease to work on March 12, 2012, according to EA's 'End User License Agreement' description website. Need for Speed Hot Pursuit--the actual game in question from the original report--makes note of no expiration date for the pass [NFSHP EULA PDF].
EA MMA appears to have removed the restriction for Online Passes, according to our testing. Medal of Honor, however, still requires a pass to play online. Medal of Honor's EULA description makes no mention of expiring codes. EA's 'Terms of Service' makes no mention of the publisher's ability to cancel codes at any time; however it notes it can terminate online services within 30 days of announcing it on its status page. As it stands, there is no explanation for the expiration of online passes for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit or Medal of Honor.
Shacknews has once again contacted EA for comment, but has yet to hear back at the time of publishing.