To borrow a phrase from Old New Top Gear, “That’s not gone well.”
Over-the-air updates are convenient, because you can receive updates to your car’s hardware without visiting the dealer. They can also be horrifically inconvenient, as evidenced by a recent Fiat Chrysler screw-up.
This week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles sent an over-the-air update to certain 2017 and 2018 Uconnect infotainment systems, which can be found on Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Fiat and Chrysler vehicles. While that might seem well and good, the update apparently went wrong and forced many infotainment systems into an endless bootloop, where the screen restarts every minute or so.
Sound annoying? Sure does! Owners took to Twitter to gripe. Uconnect’s customer support also sent out a tweet of acknowledgement, promising both an investigation and a resolution, albeit without a specific timeline:
Certain 2017 & 2018 Uconnect systems may experience a reboot every 45-60 seconds. Our Engineering teams are investigating the cause and working towards a resolution. We will post here as soon as more information is available and apologize for the inconvenience.
— UconnectCares (@UconnectCares) February 12, 2018
As you might expect when a company admits an error, that tweet’s ratio is… not great.
While losing the ability to listen to SiriusXM Turbo might feel like a first world problem, Uconnect’s tendrils reach well beyond the radio. The system is also responsible for managing climate settings, setting the seat heater and accessing the backup camera. Thus, owners aren’t missing out on audio so much as they are missing out on half the vehicle’s features, some of which are rather important.
For what it’s worth, though, it doesn’t appear to be affecting every single new Uconnect system. Roadshow has a Fiat Chrysler press car currently in our possession, and the system is working fine. But the bootloop is an issue for a fellow auto writer with a different FCA vehicle. Hmm.