Customers are promised to receive CarPlay and Android Auto functionality through an air update “no later than the end of June”.
BMW is delivering new cars without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality after the carmaker changed its chip supplier in a move that helped it address its semiconductor shortage.
Customers are expected to wait for an over-the-air update that will install new software “by the end of June at the latest,” BMW said in an email.
“The chips built into these cars in the first four months of this year need updated software to be fully functional and to offer Apple CarPlay / Android Auto and Wi-Fi capabilities,” the statement said.
The company did not say how many models and which regions are affected, but customers in the US, Italy, Spain, UK and France posted on forums saying that their new BMWs were delivered without functionality.
Affected models include code 6P1 in their specifications.
Problems for Mini, Mercedes and Harman
Automakers around the world need to find temporary solutions to enable production to continue amid a prolonged shortage of chips as well as other components.
BMW also said it had stopped offering manual transmission options for its Mini range, citing unspecified shortcomings.
“To ensure maximum production to meet growing customer demand, our product offering needs to be streamlined,” the company said. “This solution is the most effective way to ensure production stability so that we can continue to supply new Minis to all our customers.”
Mercedes-Benz has built cars without certain parts so that they can be upgraded later, the company said.
“In the first quarter, we decided to build vehicles with some critical components missing because we expect them to be delivered,” in the second or third quarter, Chief Financial Officer Harald Wilhelm said in a statement.
Infotainment provider Harman has been working with automakers to redesign their products to reduce chip content and keep production moving.
“In some cases, we have been able to satisfy some of our products and keep this customer experience at the same level,” Christian Sobottka, head of Harman Automotive, told Automotive News Europe. “Rapid redesign and dissatisfaction have in many cases prevented the factory from closing for a week.”
European sales fell by 19% in the first quarter due to limited supply of chips and other components, according to market researcher Dataforce.
The decline represents a loss of more than a quarter of a million cars compared to the first quarter of 2021.
Some carmakers were more affected than others, with Stellantis down 31%, Volkswagen Group down 24%, BMW down 23% and Mercedes down 23%.