The global chip shortage continues to cause problems for automakers, to the point where some are shipping vehicles without all of their advertised features.
In an email to affected customers, the German auto giant confirmed that some vehicles built between January and April of this year contain chips that require updated software in order to be able to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The necessary update will be rolled out “by the end of June at the latest,” the automaker said.
The issue is reportedly the result of BMW changing chip suppliers in a bid to deal with the shortage in the most efficient way possible. In other words, changing suppliers prevented it from needing to halt shipments while it waited for the chips to come in. Instead, it’s been able to add the new supplier’s chips and then ship the cars, the only challenge being that it needs to roll out updated software to activate certain features.
It’s not clear how many customers and vehicle models are impacted by BMW’s decision to ship vehicles without CarPlay and Android Auto, but Automotive News’ own research suggests the situation involves the automaker’s American, British, French, Italian, and Spanish markets.
While the issue may be an unwelcome annoyance for customers, it shouldn’t prove to be too much trouble, provided BMW delivers on its promise to resolve the problem by the end of next month. It’s certainly better than the automaker holding on to the vehicles until the functionality can be added.
Digital Trends has reached out to BMW for more information on the situation and we will update this article when we hear back.
BMW’s decision to ship vehicles without all of the advertised features is similar to moves made by other car companies in recent months. Ford, for example, also cited the global chip shortage for its decision to ship some of its Explorer SUVs without particular features, though it promised to add them when the chips become available.
In Ford’s case, it meant shipping some of its Explorers without functionality for rear seat controls that operate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, though they are controllable from the driver’s seat.
Caused by pandemic-related supply chain problems and other factors, the chip shortage isn’t expected to end anytime soon, with Intel’s chief saying last month that it could take several more years for his company to get on top of the situation.
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