With each passing year, cars increasingly blur the line between automobile and computer. Some vehicles feature more lines of code than there are in a commercial jet, and while that makes cars smarter and more capable, there are a few potential issues.
Many of those issues come from over-the-air (OTA) data broadcasts, which allow vehicles to fix bugs and add features without ever leaving the driveway. That sounds great in theory, but a recent update is giving many Lexus owners a massive headache.
“Due to a recent update, many of our owners’ vehicle head units stopped working,” the brand wrote on its Facebook page. “We are fully engaged and investigating this issue as a top priority. We are working around the clock to find a solution for this issue, and we will alert you as soon as we have more information.”
The source of the problem, according to Lexus, was “errant data” broadcast by the automaker’s traffic and weather data service provider, which caused a problem with the head unit in several 2014-2016 model year vehicles, as well as the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser. The exact number of affected vehicles is unknown at this point, but infotainment systems equipped with the Enform subscription service appear to be unusable, stuck in a cycle of reboots that prevents drivers from using navigation, audio, or climate control functions. Several motorists have posted videos of their cars acting strangely, one of which can be seen below.
To fix the problem, Lexus says a forced reset is necessary to clear the errant data from the system. The vehicles are still drivable, so the company urges owners of affected vehicles to visit their dealer for a complimentary system reboot.
One of the biggest selling points for Lexus is the luxury brand’s excellent reliability, so this issue is an unsightly black mark on the automaker’s record. If any new problems or developments arise, we’ll be sure to update you here.