One of the best features of cars that connect to smartphones is Bluetooth, giving the driver access to his/her phone through a microphone and speakers in the car. The upgrade to iOS 8 has already caused problems with apps from Clarion and Pioneer AppRadio infotainment systems. Now it appears iOS 8 (and 8.0.2) connecting to Bluetooth is causing more problems with in-car systems. Drivers are not able to make or receive calls over Bluetooth and more. Fixes that seem to work involve deleting, nuking, clearing, renaming and starting over from scratch.
Update 12/10/2014:Reports from reader comments indicate that the update to iOS 8.1.2 has helped with some Bluetooth issues. We also asked reps from Honda, GM and BMW at the Connected Car Expo about the situation and were told that they are working on it.
Update: 11/17/2014 – There continues to be issues with iOS 8.1 and Bluetooth. Months after the initial Bluetooth problems, the iOS 8.1 seems to help for a few newer model cars/vehicles. The “Nuke-it” fix seems to work in some cases with addition of the “chose audio” option. We have over 100 comments from our reader confirming all kinds of Bluetooth issues. We figured out why such Bluetooth problems persist from interviewing car makers at Telematics West Coast.
If you have updated to iOS 8.1 or iPhone 6-6+ and it fixed or fried your Bluetooth issues with your in-car infotainment system, please let us know in the comments below, be sure to note your make, model and year of your vehicle.
Bluetooth problems with iOS 8.0.2 persist. We’ve added more solutions/complaints and stories at the end. GM is offering help through CTEs and phone support. There are also reports that Apple will release iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay on October 20. iOS 8.1 Beta is being tested by developers. Pioneer has solved the Bluetooth problem with its CarPlay update for 2014 NEX systems, the first after market company to be CarPlay compatible.
Before upgrading iPhone software, some in-car infotainment makers suggest that you check for compatibility issues with the iOS 8 and your system, first. It is always a good idea to backup everything on your iPhone before updating the software.
Problems with iOS 8, iPhone 6/6+ with Cars Reported in Forums:
- The USB car sync app does not work, USB only charges the iPhone but doesn’t play the music.
- When dialing a number, the phone switches from BLUETOOTH to PHONE. It dials the number and audio plays through speakers of the iPhone. The driver is forced to manually make the iPhone play through the speakers of your car.
- The driver has to restart the iPhone and pair with the car every time the car starts.
- For an iPhone 6 with iOS 8 music can be heard through Bluetooth, but driver can’t answer the phone or dial out. (2014 XV Crosstrek)
- 2015 Kia Optima iPhone 5S, keeps calling last dialed number.
- Bluetooth only works from the call button in the car.
Bluetooth issues have been reported on Mercedes Vito, Renault Clio, Ford Focus , different Ford models, 2014 Mazda 3, 2011 BMW 520D, Jeep, Kia, Volkswagen 2011 CC, Subaru Legacy 2014, Acura Tsx 2010, Subaru Outback, Dodge Charger, Cobalt (Chevrolet) 2012, Honda Civic 2014, Honda Pilot, Audi A1/A3/A6, Chevy Equinox, Toyota Pirus C, Mercedes-Benz, MINI Cooper, BMW, Lincoln MKX, 2012 Acura TSX, Chevy Cruze, Ford Explorer, Hyundai Elantra and Kia.
Some Solutions from Forums
In general users found that “nuking” settings, clearing out everything and starting over helps in most cases.
1. Reset All Settings
Go to iPhone Settings ▸ General ▸ Reset ▸ Reset all settings.
2. Unpair Phone and Car Infotainment System Rename Phone
Go to iPhone Settings ▸ > General ▸ About ▸ Name. Change the name of the iPhone and pair with the car infotainment system again.
3. Restore Network Settings:
Restore all network settings of iOS 8. Go to Settings ▸ General ▸ Reset (at the bottom)▸ Reset Network settings.*This method is also deletes all Wi-Fi and other network settings! If you reset you must re-add all your network settings in iOS.
4. Delete and Start All Over:
- Delete all Bluetooth devices on the iPhone.
- Deleted the phone from the car’s Bluetooth paired device.
- Switch car off.
- Switch Bluetooth off on iPhone.
- Reboot iPhone using home and lock simultaneously.
- Turn Bluetooth back on.
- Start the car and pair the two to again. (Poster believes that it iOS 8 problem by the look of things.)
5. Factory Reset & Restore
Factory reset the iPhone 5s and re-install iOS 8 from scratch. Restore apps and more from iTunes (Chevy Equinox.)
6. Clear Out Everything Even Car Settings
- Disconnect car battery to remove all settings from car.
- Make a backup of your iPhone/iPod with iCloud backup.
- Restore updated iPhone to new.
- Once restored it should connect as it should.
- Restore apps, calendar, music from iCloud backup.
“So ya, nuke the phone and restore from a backup. It worked for me! That said, There’s obviously a bug causing the initial issue, so I hope it gets resolved in 8.0.1.“
7. Get Bluetooth Update from Dealer
There are reports that Apple support suggests contacting your car dealer for an update. We have no knowledge of any dealer with an update.
It appears the problem is based on previous settings in both iPhones and car infotainment systems. If you have found a solution please post in the comments below.
There are also reports from customers who called Apple that there are car incompatibility issues. Another report said that a driver took her car to dealer and after a reset and clearing of data, it re-paired and worked without an update to car system.
Apparently Audi told a customer, “Unfortunately the iPhone 6 is not yet compatible. The iOS 8 versions have been freezing our systems. We are currently waiting for Apple to come out with another version of iOs to address this.” Someone also reported that after she finally got Bluetooth working, Siri no longer worked.
Since the problem is reported in multiple vehicles, it may be an iOS 8 problem. Most of our colleagues who do have iPhones generally wait a few weeks before updating. It is also a good idea to set aside time especially if you are planning to use your iPhone in your car to test the update. We don’t want you trying to fix the problem while driving.
CarPlay the Answser?
In the future we hope that cars with Apple CarPlay will not have any problems because the iPhone connects by a lightning connector and don’t require Bluetooth. CarPlay has been delayed by most car makers except for Hyundai.
iOS 8.0.2 does not appear to fix any Bluetooth issues. An Apple Forum member reported “Luckily, I never installed 8.0.1, but I installed 8.0.2 last night. No help. Same problems as before.” He did however rename the iPhone and it worked. In Australia there were complaints of problems with iOS 8.0.2.”
iPhone users are beyond angry. They are afraid that someone may cause and accident and be killed because of Bluetooh malfunctions
Apple has pushed out an update iPhone that has broken functionality in so many makes/models of car it’s ridiculous. In summary: Pretty much any other kind of phone continues to work in these countless makes/models of affected vehicles. For all the posted work-arounds (beyond anyone not on this forum), most continue to have issues.
iPhone users are frustrated beyond belief. iPhone users may be breaking the law now they no longer have hands-free communication. The reality is someone, somewhere, has probably been killed as a result of the distraction caused by this.
Be accountable Apple. People have historically paid a bit more to buy your products because they come to expect perfection. This situation is a joke, as is putting out iOS 8.0.1 that broke phones. Pick up your game.