Many BMW owners have been unable to access CarPlay in their vehicle for the past several days, according to several reports on Reddit. This CarPlay downtime is seemingly related to BMW’s ConnectedDrive service suffering from outage – and further shows the risk associated with locking these features behind paid options and subscriptions.
What seems to be happening is that because of the ConnectedDrive outage, cars are unable to confirm that users have paid for the CarPlay option in their vehicle. Because the car can’t make that authentication, BMW owners have no access to CarPlay, nor the other ConnectedDrive features.
BMW has purportedly acknowledged the ConnectedDrive outage to customers, but has yet to comment publicly or offer any sort of timetable on when the issue might be resolved.
In the past, BMW has sold its ConnectedDrive package as a one-time option at the time of vehicle purchase. For newer model years, however, BMW has started offering ConnectedDrive as a subscription service instead – and locks CarPlay behind that subscription paywall.
This week’s outage of ConnectedDrive and CarPlay is affecting users who paid for the one-time option at purchase, as well as those who are on the newer subscription-based plans. The outage doesn’t seem to be affecting all BMW owners, but reports on Reddit and Twitter suggest that a fair number of owners are affected.
More than anything, this sort of outage further shows why locking CarPlay being subscription services and other options can be problematic. Cars that simply keep CarPlay completely local couldn’t suffer from this type of outage, which shows the benefits of those type of implementations.
BMW CarPlay and ConnectedDrive outage tweets:
@BMW @BMWUSA please make an official announcement about #ConnectedDrive and #CarPlay issues. Your techs say it’s system-wide with no ETA for fix, and I wasted 2 hours of my day figuring that out. Your silence on the issue is concerning, aside from being bad customer service.
— Ethan Ede (@ethan_ede) May 9, 2019
Don’t worry. #CarPlay isn’t even working for the last 3 days or so (going on day 4), so it doesn’t really have CarPlay either.
— John Snow (@JohnSno57558667) May 9, 2019
@BMW_UK can someone explain why my Car Play that I paid £300 for in August vanished from my car over a month ago and every time I call Connected Drive they can’t help me as their systems are down. Literally weeks this issue has been going on for #ConnectedDrive
— Dave (@daveb0878) May 4, 2019
@BMWUSA #connecteddrive This car is < 1m old and every feature stopped working on it. Family of BMW owners, I'm the only one affected- what gives? pic.twitter.com/Sk0HNf76w8
— Andy Poes (@doniguan) May 9, 2019
@BMW_UK #connecteddrive ConnectedDrive in my 125i has been broken for two weeks – email just shows an error message, online search doesn’t work, destinations sent to car do not arrive, can’t locate car in app. And yet your helpdesk claim there are no problems with the service!
— Rok (@rok60446945) May 9, 2019