There have been reports of Bluetooth pairing problems with many car makes and models when iPhone owners upgraded to iOS 8 or tried to get their new iPhone 6/6+ to pair with automotive infotainment systems. AUTO Connected Car News contacted General Motors to see if they had any solutions and we received a statement from Stuart Fowle, Global Connected Customer and OnStar public relations representative for General Motors. GM has many support options for GM, Buick, Chevrolet and Cadillac vehicles to help with iOS 8 Bluetooth pairing.
It’s hard to tell how great Bluetooth pairing problems are with car infotainment systems because there are literally millions of iOS 8 users. On September 21, Apple reported that 46% of iOS users were using iOS 8. There were 10 million iPhone 6/6+ units sold in the first weekend (9/19/-9/20) alone. However, when drivers can not get a proper Bluetooth connection it can be very frustrating.
We were not aware that GM has a staff dedicated to help with technology issues. We were aware that GM has stepped up its technology efforts and is the first major car maker to offer 4G LTE AT&T Wi-Fi hotspot service in most of its models* and may be first to offer a wearable device app. It appears that GM has technology support superior to many of the luxury German car makers. It also appears that drivers have been seeking help from Apple forums when they may be better off getting help from car makers.
Fowle noted that most GM vehicle owners at General Motors offices have not had issues with iOS 8 and or iPhone 6/6+. However, GM does offer multiple support options for Bluetooth pairing issues with Chevrolet MyLink, Cadillac Cue and GMC/ Buick IntelliLink infotainment systems.
“At this point, General Motors is not seeing any increased volume of customer Bluetooth issues related specifically to Apple’s latest products and operating systems,” wrote Stuart Fowle in an email to AUTO Connected Car News. “If our customers have a question about pairing a Bluetooth device, they are encouraged to visit their dealer’s Certified Technology Expert (CTE).”
GM CTEs are employees of Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC stores and are supported by an internal GM group of 55 regional Connected Customer Specialists responsible for training and technology awareness.
“Customers can also call the GM infotainment call center located in the U.S. with trained experts in GM in-vehicle technology. Chevrolet, Buick and GMC customers should call 1.855.4.SUPPORT and Cadillac customers can call 1.855.4.CUE.NOW,” the statement to AUTO Connected Car News, concluded.
We found that the most disturbed owners were with high end luxury cars, such as BMW and Audi. One forum member reported that Audi support told an Audi owner “Unfortunately the iPhone 6 is not yet compatible. The iOS 8 versions have been freezing our systems.”
So what have we learned from this situation? Before upgrading, it is a good idea to check with your connected device makers to see if they are compatible. For instance both Clarion and Pioneer have reported issues with iOS 8 . Once you update to iOS 8 or 8.02, you can downgrade to iOS 7.
*According to the OnStar website many Chevy (Malibu, Impala, Spark, Volt Equinox) GMC (Yukon/Terrain/Sierra) and Buick (Regal, LaCrosse, Verano, Encore) models can be bought as of this writing with AT&T 4G LTE. AT&T 4G LTE is already in two million vehicles.
Below are the Bluetooth Pairing Steps from the Infotainment Manual for Chevy, Volt, Camaro, Cruze and Malibu>
Pairing a Phone/Device
- Press the CONFIG button or v.
- Select Phone Settings.
- Select Pair Device (Phone). The radio displays “Please start Bluetooth search on your phone.
Confirm or enter number:.” If the device supports a four-digit Personal Identification Number
(PIN), it will display. The PIN is used in Step 5.
- Start the pairing process on the cell phone to be paired to the vehicle. See the cell phone
manufacturer’s user guide.
- Locate and select the device named after the vehicle make and model in the list on the cell
phone. Follow the instructions on the cell phone to enter the PIN provided in Step 3, or to
confirm the six-digit code matches. The system recognizes the new connected phone after
the pairing process is complete.
- If the phone prompts to accept connection or allow phone book download, select always accept
and allow. The phone book may not be available if not accepted. Some phones will put
connection request or phonebook request in a pull down task bar at the top of the screen. Drag down the task barand look for connection/ phonebook request and accept.
- Repeat to pair additional phones.
Unable to Connect Device to VehiclePandora the manual states:
If the device is unable to connect to
the USB or Bluetooth:
1. Turn the vehicle off.
2. Open and close the driver door, wait about 30 seconds, and try to connect the device again.