from can-we-offer-you-a-tote-bag-with-our-logo.null department
Good. This will not help future fundraising campaigns. Not when a public radio station negatively affects, you know, driving.
Drivers of some vehicles in Seattle and other parts of western Washington are screaming into their car stereos this week. Not because of any particular song or news item being played, but because an apparent technical glitch has blocked the radios on public radio station KUOW.
The affected drivers all appear to be owners of Mazda vehicles between 2014 and 2017. In some cases, in-car infotainment systems completely stopped working, derailing the ability to listen to the radio or use phone connections Bluetooth, GPS, rear camera and more.
Here is the collision of OTA and IO(car)T. This unique situation—limited only to Upper West drivers—has presented a host of new problems and many speculative answers. The radio had absolutely no idea why this was happening. A local dealership told a customer it had something to do with 5G, which apparently meant affected Mazdas were now infected with a car-borne form of COVID, presumably requiring lots of expensive diagnostics and so on. continued.
Fortunately, the automaker was able to pinpoint the cause of the malfunction, which left some drivers staring at in-car systems stuck in a perpetual “loading…” loop. The response came about a week after the problem arose. The problem — discussed in this entertaining Reddit thread – had nothing to do with network upgrades or an unexplained bug in Mazda software.
Instead, the public radio station had done something completely unexpected, sending the affected vehicles into in-car entertainment purgatory. That’s the statement Mazda gave Geekwire.
“Between 01/24 and 01/31, a Seattle area radio station sent image files with no extension, which caused an issue on certain 2014-2017 Mazda vehicles with older software,” says Mazda’s press release. “Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) distributed service alerts notifying dealers of the issue.”
While it’s somewhat disturbing to note that Mazdas made in the last eight years are running what Mazda considers outdated software, the good news is that it can be fixed. Bad news follows good news: due to shipping constraints affecting everything, drivers affected by this quirk shouldn’t expect to see a fix any time soon. The “parts delays” cited by Mazda could delay permanent fixes for months.
On the other hand (good news!), even older models will be covered by these repairs, whether or not they are still under warranty. The company asked dealers to honor “goodwill requests” for free repairs of affected vehicles. Back to the bad news: the part that apparently needs to be replaced is the ominous sounding ‘connectivity head unit’, indicating that much of the connectivity will be affected until dealers get the part in. stock and begin processing the backlog of semiconductors. -Brick Mazdas. Some users have reported in-car entertainment systems stuck in permanent loops, non-functional GPS systems, and bricked-in backup cameras.
It’s not going to go down well for Mazda, given that it’s the only automaker whose systems have been rendered unusable by a misconfigured file distributed by a radio station. While this situation is certainly outlier, there’s likely a reason why other in-car entertainment systems haven’t been affected in the same way, suggesting a crucial gap in the technology installed in these models – a gap which could be exploited by entities far more nefarious than local. public broadcasters.
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Filed Under: images, public radio, radio, seattle, washington
Companies: kuow, mazda