Fiat Chrysler may have just bricked the infotainment hub in thousands of vehicles

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,920   +765
Staff member

When technology fails us, it is annoying, but nothing is more irritating than when the failure is a direct result of developers quietly pushing an update to your system. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is finding out the hard way just how much this ticks people off as they continue to deal with a Twitter storm that started yesterday.

FCA on Monday pushed out an over-the-air update to its Uconnect platform. Unfortunately, the update has caused the system to reboot every 30-40 seconds according to the hundreds of angry customers that have flooded the UconnectCares customer support Twitter account.

Uconnect is the software that drives the infotainment systems in thousands of Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat vehicles. It is particularly frustrating since the platform is used to control the audio system, heating and AC, heated seats, rear-view cameras, vehicle voice assistant and the car’s “SOS” feature.

Fiat Chrysler apologized and identified that the problem only affects some of the 2017 and 2018 Uconnect systems. The company says engineers are investigating the cause and working on a solution. However, a fix could prove trickier than just pushing out a patch over the air.

While FCA is claiming reboots occur every 45-60 seconds, actual users are reporting a much shorter uptime window of between 30-40 seconds. This means that a centrally-pushed patch will have to be small enough to download and install very quickly.

If this is not possible, then the system will essentially be bricked until it can be physically serviced. It is certain that customers would not take such a solution quietly.

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seeprime

Posts: 534   +603
These car update screwups are probably more common than we know. I brought my Ford in for an oil change. They also updated the transmission software, which also stopped the clock and audio from working correctly. No one there seemed to know why, until one of the female techs asked what the problem was. She pulled the positive lead off the battery and essentially power cycled the system. That worked. What surprised me is that only one person had a clue how to get everything going again. And, WTF did this have to do with a transmission update?
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,402   +3,494
This is why I love my 98 CK1500. Radio has a cassette player and thats it. Nothing digital on this puppy except the odometer and LCD on the radio. All this modern technology is making cars worse.

These car update screwups are probably more common than we know. I brought my Ford in for an oil change. They also updated the transmission software, which also stopped the clock and audio from working correctly. No one there seemed to know why, until one of the female techs asked what the problem was. She pulled the positive lead off the battery and essentially power cycled the system. That worked. What surprised me is that only one person had a clue how to get everything going again. And, WTF did this have to do with a transmission update?
Car companies are clueless, and have a tendency to tie EVERYTHING to the damn CANBUS.

This is why that jeep could lock all of its brakes using its 4G connection. Ande why people like me intentionally buy more utility esque vehicles to get away from this garbage.

Incidentally, this is also why self driving cars will never happen. They cant manage radios and trannys properly, they will never be able to build a autonomous car that doesnt screw up within a year of normal use.
 

p51d007

Posts: 2,691   +2,029
These car update screwups are probably more common than we know. I brought my Ford in for an oil change. They also updated the transmission software, which also stopped the clock and audio from working correctly. No one there seemed to know why, until one of the female techs asked what the problem was. She pulled the positive lead off the battery and essentially power cycled the system. That worked. What surprised me is that only one person had a clue how to get everything going again. And, WTF did this have to do with a transmission update?

Well, you know how it goes in the age of LAWYERS. Say you got into a wreck that had absolutely NOTHING to do with anything...someone pulls out in front of you, you T-bone them, the other person
is at fault, but they find a "we sue for you" type lawyer, they find out some obscure software update
wasn't installed, and they try to take YOU to court. Tie you up in court, cost you money even if a judge
throws it out, all because some stupid update wasn't installed.
THAT's probably why it was updated.

Just this morning I had 25 calls come in, because an update I uploaded to over 152 machines, bricked "a few" of them. The software update, was to patch a Kracker WPA/WPA2 hole, and that was ALL it was suppose to do, but, it turned 25 multifunction copier/printer/scanner/fax machines into doorstops until I could get techs out to revert the firmware manually.
It happens...everything these days is software driven.
 

hk2000

Posts: 153   +81
Connected cars is a bad idea. Even the dumbest driver is safer than a connected car in the long term.
 

TheBigT42

Posts: 524   +429
These car update screwups are probably more common than we know. I brought my Ford in for an oil change. They also updated the transmission software, which also stopped the clock and audio from working correctly. No one there seemed to know why, until one of the female techs asked what the problem was. She pulled the positive lead off the battery and essentially power cycled the system. That worked. What surprised me is that only one person had a clue how to get everything going again. And, WTF did this have to do with a transmission update?

Software was probably written by Microsoft...After you install software Reboot
 

hood6558

Posts: 353   +110
Chrysler has had the worst computer/electrical systems for years now. Anyone remember the first "talking" cars from Chrysler in the '80s? Almost every one of them had a "Your electrical system has malfunctioned" message every time you started the car, or "your door is ajar" when it wasn't. Their minivans, full-size vans, and trucks would fry turn signal switches, A/C control heads, wiper motors, engine computers, and most other electrical parts, every few months. So this is no surprise at all. I would never buy a Chrysler product.