Why iOS 8.3 4 iPhone 5-6+ breaks Bluetooth, USB and CarPlay car connections

Initialize ErrorThere are millions of iPhones on the planet and one of the favorite places for people to use their iPhones is in their cars. The first update to iOS 8 caused major Bluetooth connection glitches with in-car infotainment Bluetooth connections some of which have been fixed with updates. However, we are still getting comments from our readers for problems with iOS 8.3 Bluetooth, music and even cabled USB or lightning connections in cars. On top of that, the darling of the Apple ecosystem, CarPlay has problems with playlists with some aftermarket CarPlay infotainment systems. Bluetooth problems persist in aftermarket stereo systems, too.

What is causing the problem? If you ask the automakers they will say Apple for changing things that worked previously. Apple made many changes to iOS 8.3 to enable it work with the new Apple Watch.  In the meantime, those who call Apple support get put through a series of tests and resets that don’t fix the problem. A commenter said that the backup, delete and restore Apple suggests to fix Bluetooth problems, is their way of logging problems thus making the people in their cars software testers.

Some of our latest comments show:

  • 2006 Acura MDX with no Bluetooth problem after upgraded to iOS 8.3 the iPhone is no longer discoverable.
  • 2015 Subaru Forester with the upgrade to 8.3 on iPhone 5 unable to Bluetooth pair.
  • 2010 Ford Fusion with No ringtone or music.
  • 2013 Toyota 4Runner, music plays but no phone calls.
  • Audi S5 2013 no Bluetooth connection with iOS 8.3.
  • Hyundai Iload 2013 Van and Porsche Macan 2014 iOS 8.3 Bluetooth does not work.
  • 2010 Hyundai Genesis sedan with iPhone 6+ after 8.3 iOS upgrade, problems.
  • 2010 Cadillac DTS is experiencing Bluetooth problems after update to iOS 8.3.
  • 2012 Volvo XC60 Bluetooth phone and stream worked properly before iOS 8.3. Now both of them constantly breaks up.
  • 2014 Subaru Forrester no Bluetooth connectivity at all.
  • 2013 Subuaru Outback will initially connect via Bluetooth, but will not re-connect after ignition is turned off.
  • 2014 GMC Sierra can’t recognize the iPhone 6.
  • 2011 Sonata. Getting “Initialization Error” while connected to my iPhone 6plus (on 8.3).
  • BMW X1(E84) 9/2012 has problems with Connected Drive and IOS 8.3. Connection is lost after 1-2 minutes. Also problems with Bluetooth connection.
  • Honda 2012 CRV handsfree link lost.
  • Audi A6 no iPhone Bluetooth connection.
  • Mazda 2012 CX-9 iPhone 5 pairs and appears connected, but no audio for phone even after 8.3 software update.
  • 2014 Mazda3 won’t pair with my iPhone 6 8.3 at all.
  • Audi A4 2014 iOS 8.3. Previously had problems with maintaining connectivity and the occasional problem with calls, but this update killed everything com
  • Chevy 2015 Silverado no audio text message. Chevy Equinox 2012 phone call but no Bluetooth music or cable connection to infotainment unit.
  • 2015 Porsche Cayenne, Bluetooth works for voice but not text messages.
  • Honda CRV 2014 lost text messaging function with update.
  • Dodge and Chrysler UConnect system owners have reported problems with iOS 8.3.

The most revealing comment is “I could care less about a stupid watch! I have a $104,000 Mercedes that won’t connect to the Bluetooth using OS 8.3! Where oh where is Steve Jobs?

We had one report that by taking in a VW Jetta the dealer was able to fix Bluetooth problem by deleting the old Bluetooth settings form the entertainment console, not the dashboard menus.

Hyundais No Music Fun Days

The are a number of problems with music connections with cables for many Hyundai models including Sonata 2011, when the cable is connected music plays, however when it is reconnected it does not play the last song but a initialization error is shown on the screen. The problem has been reported to Apple.

CarPlay Doesn’t Play Nice with Some Music

Since the update iOS 8.3, there are reports that CarPlay is not working properly with iOS 8.3 with the  Pioneer model AVH-X2600, there is skipping in music when playing through Bluetooth while in iPod mode it won’t connect at all.

For CarPlay and a Pioneer SPH-DA120, the Artist List now shows up every Artist from Various Artists Albums. The owner talked to customer support, that suggested deleting Bluetooth CarPlay connection and start again. It has been placed on a bug list for Apple developers.

Aftermarket Glitches

A Pioneer AVH-X3600BHS that worked well a iPhone 6 Plus, until the update to iOS 8.3. Now no one can hear the driver during phone calls. After re-paring the issue still remains. Alpine iLX-007 will play applications but there is no sound.

So how can our frustrated drivers and commenters get help? We wish we could do more. We tried to find an aftermarket device to use in the meantime such as a Bluetooth speakerphone. We think that by continually allowing our readers to voice their frustration and post fixes, it will eventually help. When we last spoke to automakers and their engineers they are as frustrated as the drivers are. The only solution for some has been to get an Android phone, go back to a late-model iPhone or not update their iPhones. Buying a brand new car may not solve the problem either. If you have a solution please post it in the comments below.

iOS 8.4 Beta shows a totally new music player, which may or may not help. CarPlay will support iAudio books in iOS 8.4.

IHS Automotive forecasts for the three primary systems for 2015 and will be  MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. By 2020 there will be 31 million cars with Android Auto, 37 million cars with Apple CarPlay and 17 million cars with MirrorLink.

If you have updated to iOS 8.3 for iPhone 5/5S/5c 6-6+ and it fixed or fried your Bluetooth issues or music streaming 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. We also welcome any solutions you have found worked with your car.

We have comments from readers that there are still Bluetooth problems reported with BMW, Audi, Acura, MINI, GM(Chevy, GMC, Cadillac, Buick), Honda, Kia, Toyota, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Mazda, Lexus, Fiat, Hyundai, Chrysler, Acura, Mazda and more.

Previously, after talking to many automakers we asked Why Bluetooth iOS 8-8.1 & iPhone 6-6+ issues persist in cars? It seemed like the 8.1 update helped with a few new model cars. Here is a summary of Bluetooth issues and fixes and checkout the most popular nuke-it fixes.

You are welcome to sign up for our newsletter for weekly news or just Bluetooth iOS 8+ news to keep informed. Note: if you subscribe to email when published, you will get everything and don’t have to subscribe to other lists.

42 thoughts on “Why iOS 8.3 4 iPhone 5-6+ breaks Bluetooth, USB and CarPlay car connections”

  1. 2008 Acura MDX. iPhone 6s+. Incoming phone calls I can pick up on car Bluetooth – no problems. Outgoing calls have the problem. Sometimes it never works. Sometimes I can go back and forth and hit speaker, Bluetooth, speaker, Bluetooth until it connects to the car. Sometimes I’m on the iPhone or phone speaker and it automatically jumps to the car after 1-2 minutes of talking. Acura dealer blames Apple, but EVERY other device I connect the 6s+ to – including a 2016 Acura MDX – does not have any problems. The only device I have a problem with is the 2008 Acura MDX. Acura needs to work with Apple and get a software fix for the car, not the phone. My guess is the problem exists with Acura and their Bluetooth driver in the car are blaming Apple. I don’t expect this level of service from Acura. Just fix it. Please.

  2. I have a 2009 Hyundai Sonata my Blue Conn was working fine and all of a sudden it is saying not in range area. Therefore I am not able to talk on my phone while driving, unless it is on speaker phone. I have a iPhone 5c and not it is telling me that it is not in range.

  3. i have a bmw 2008, e 87 and an iphone 6, ios 8.3 and they don’t sync.before i had an iphone 5s and it was working…. now it is impossible to pair them…. i hate this

  4. Updated iOS to 8.+ on a 5s paired to a 2013 Honda Civic, and started dropping linked calls back to the phone occasionally. This connection worked flawlessly since phone and car were new. Situation gradually got worse with each iOS update – is it the car failing? Or the phone? Got a 6s 3 weeks ago, and the dropped call problem got worse, but it’s not continuously bad all the time. At times it’s extremely annoying, forcing frequent intervention while driving to continue the conversation, or forcing me to simply give up on the call. However, this occurs more than occasionally, and most of the time it works ok. In another recent issue, a paused iTunes song suddenly starts playing after a call has concluded, even though it wasn’t playing before the call – I didn’t want to listen to that right now.

  5. i have an Alpine ILX700 or 007 depending on which side of the pond. Hard-wired lightning connection only because there is no bluetooth on this head unit. Iphone 6 plus worked great until IOS 8.3 or 8.4 when Apple ‘Music’ came out. Carplay drops out after about a minute and so reconnect then same again. Sometimes it does not recognise USB device, not supported.
    Restored phone as a ‘new phone’ and it worked again. Upgraded to iphone 6s plus and again it worked for a week now the same again. Two separate senior advisors all the way over there in the States have said they will look into it. Now a month without any music, maps, podcasts, carphone, messages etc.
    I noticed that when it drops out if I hit the ‘home’ button, it thinks for a second and then switches to another song. Great!
    What was once a great and useful car car gadget, is now a very expensive radio with a big screen. Thank you very much Mr Cook, and I hope it keeps fine for you; at least someone is screwing the Chinese economy!

  6. Upgraded phone to 9.01 and upgraded Prius operating system to latest available, and Iphone 5 still does not work via USB Cable.

  7. Iphone 5 no longer works on 2014 Prius Plug In Base via USB cable. Still works on Blue Tooth but stopped working via USB cable. In a Prius, you can’t get much functionality from blue tooth. It has to be plugged into USB in order for many things to work. Therefore, the phone not working via USB cable is causing tons of problems, basically rendering it useless.

  8. New 2015 Accord Touring – iPhone6 8.4.1 – No SMS/text message feature on HFL. The Account selection is grayed out on settings menu. Everything else works fine. Tried all the idiotic kicking-the-can solutions…including HFL factory reset, phone reset, re-pairing, etc…

  9. I got a VW Golf TSI 2013 in june. I have 3 iphones. 1 is a 5c. It works perfectly. 1 more is a 5C. It never worked. It connects, and disconnects. 6 or 7 times and then gives up. 1 is a 5S. It works perfectly.
    I just this week changed the not working 5C to a new 5S. Still does not work. Really frustrating, since that phone/number is the one I want working in the car.
    I have deleted the different units both in the cars infotainment system, and in the phone. I have deleted all bluetooth connections/pairings in the iphone. I have turned off 4G, changed the name, restarted the phone.
    Has anyone found that aparticular app is causing the problem?!
    All phones have same IOS update. 2 works perfect, 1 does not..!

  10. Ih ave just bought a 2015 Isuzu DMAX utah vision with pioneer Avic F 970BT. I have blue tooth connectivity for music and phone with my I phone 6 but no carplay via the lightning cable.

  11. 2012 Ford Focus and IPhone 6+
    Worked fine until iOS 8.4 – now all calls go in Privacy Mode on the Ford Sync
    Deleting the phone on Ford Sync and forgetting the Bluetooth device on the phone don’t fix it

  12. 2007 BMW X5 Bluetooth connection failing since upgrade to iOS 8.4 and addition of Apple Watch to ecosystem. Interestingly, when I turn the Apple Watch off Bluetooth Connectivity to my BMW from iPhone 6 works fine. As soon as I turn the Apple Watch back on, the BMW bluetooth connectivity issues return and the BMW BT module ultimately locks up (requiring the module to be disconnected from the car completely in order to do a hard reset). Looks to me like BT commands iOS 8.3+ is sending to Apple Watch are causing BMW BT modules to error and the mounting errors ultimately cause the BT module to crash.

  13. i have a pioneer avh-x8700bt carplay worked fine with 8.3, now im on 8.4 its like the stereo has a virus, cannot plug it in, i have to be honest apple should change there brand to crapple, i got the watch and that works when it feels like it, hardly ever pings message, £1200 worth of gear plus £500 stereo and its all w**k at the mo

  14. 2014 Honda Accord-Updated to iOS 8.4 & can’t connect to hands free link. It says phone is discoverable but keeps spinning & says unsuccessful. Rebooted & reset and still won’t connect.

  15. Honda Accord Euro 2008 (latest). Worked perfectly with USB cable before iOS 8.4. After 8.4 update, it shows NO DATA on car screen and iPhone says “device not supported” or something.

    Quality control – hello????!!!! I want to roll back to 8.3 !!!

  16. 2013 BMW 3-er sedan. 8.4 on iPhone 5s – no audio via Bluetooth. 8.3 via GF’s BT on iPhone 5s – it works.

  17. I have a Pioneer AVH400ex aftermarket in a 2005 Lexus. CarPlay worked flawlessly until 8.4 update. Now, no CarPlay at all. Bluetooth works for music services, text, and phone. But the hands free CarPlay features not working at all. When the iphone6 is connected via USB cable, it charges, but that is all. Very frustrating!

  18. 2014 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Connection to music and hands free phone worked with perfectly w iPhone 5 and OS7. As soon as I upgraded to iPhone 6/OS8 it stopped working. The car couldn’t see the phone and the phone couldn’t find the car. Currently running latest iOS and tonight I finally fixed problem. Method: 1. Powered off phone. 2. Started car. 3. Deleted my iPhone from the Toyota Bluetooth list. 4. Powered phone back on. 5. Searched for devices. 6. My phone found the car! 6. Synced. Hands free phone and music working correctly. Haven’t tested anything else, but that is solved enough for me. Good luck everyone and thanks for this forum. It got me thinking about the problem. I hope others get theirs to work as well.

  19. I have a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe and an iPhone 6+. I use the special Hyundai cable to connect the phone to the car. Before upgrading to iOS 8.3 I only rarely got the ‘Connection error’ message on connecting the phone to the car. After the 8.3 upgrade I get that error many times before I can finally get music to play. It still works, but it is very annoying and a much worse experience than it was previously.

    • iOS 8.4 is out. I updated my phone and tried it in the car. Now it works very well. I have not seen the Connection error message at all. Even better, the phone pauses the music track when I switch to the radio and picks back up where it left off when I switch back. Previously, the phone would keep playing the track in the background.

      So far so good with the 8.4 update – dramatic improvement!

  20. BMW 428i M Sport Convertible (Professional Media) – won’t connect any more after 8.3 update, was fine before.

  21. Ford Fusion 2015: no longer syncs phone with an Apple I Phone 6 + with the IOS 8.3. After trying to fix it for 2+ hours, Ford just said it was an Apple problem. Anybody know how to fix this?

  22. 2013 Dodge Journey… I just received a brand new iPhone 5S and had to update it to transfer my settings. Once that was done, it will not connect to Uconnect. The phone does see the connection, but will not connect. I have another iPhone 5s that I have not updated and it still connects. I will NOT be updating that phone. Talked to Dodge and they say it’s an Apple issue.

  23. Uclear HBC 200 was working fine proir to 8.3 now, weirdly, I can listen to music, and even keytones as I dial, but no call audio or ringtone whatsoever over bluetooth. Thanks for nothing apple, and don’t even get me started on that Fu*^%#$@! apple watch

  24. 2009 Toyota Venza, skipping audio, lose connection when switching from Bluetooth to fm radio then back to Bluetooth. Have to reconnect all over again. iPhone 6 Plus.

  25. I have 2012 Prius V paired with a iPhone 5s. The pairing occurs and voice works, but audio playback fails. I have tried everything from deleting the pairing to restoring the phone. The downgrade to iOS 8.2 is no longer signed and therefore unavailable.

  26. 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe — my iPhone 5 worked fine with playing music downloading the contact list, listening to audiobooks, etc. UNTIL I updated to the new iOS 8.3 software. Now, my Bluetooth works only for the phone–but WITHOUT the contact list. It’s not downloaded and I get the “Sorry, I cannot understand you” voice message. Audiobooks don’t play, music might play sometimes, but I cannot navigate within artists or songs, etc. In hooking the phone up to the cable, I normally get a Logging Error message. This is maddening!

  27. 2010 Hyundai i30. iPhone 5s. Since updating to iOS 8.3 phone will not connect to the stereo. If you do a hard reset it only will work once. I had to roll back to iOS 8.2 :(.

  28. 2013 Honda Accord. Upgraded to 8.3, everything works except for hands free texting. Very frustrating! Tried to delete the device and re-pair it. Still doesn’t work.

  29. 2008 Acura MDX no Bluetooth phone connectivity after 8.3 release, tried all the fixes and nothing is working

  30. Digusted by Apple. I spend a fortune to get two cars to work with iphones and now it works like garbage. Not connecting or skipping music, siri not working, the whole thing just makes me very angry. Not sure what to do. Have investigated getting an older iphone 5 with ios7 or maybe making a change to Samsung S6. It’s just such a pity after Steve Jobs make Apple so reliable and so desired. Apple should expect a backlash to shoddy software. It will come gradually but it will come.

  31. 2011 Chevy Traverse Same problem as everyone. thought my kids broke the USB port on my Traverse but now I see it’s another worthless update for the iPhone.
    I have an iPhone 6 and I get either loading error messages or “wont connect”

  32. Volvo XC 90 MY2013: No (known) problems with BT, but no Ipod-Function (no Sound) when Iphone 5S is connected with USB Cable

  33. I own a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. Before I updated to 8.3 everything worked fine. Now the phone will not pair with the vehicle. I have tried resetting settings on the phone and it did not make a difference.

  34. I own a 2011 Hyundai Sonata and since the update whenever I plug my phone into the USB, I get a “Loading Error” I have to try so many times before it actually works, this is ridiculous!

  35. I have a BMW 530 xd F10 model and the bluetooth does not work at all. Tried to delete, reconnect and more.. After 2-10 minutes it disconnects and after it is not possible to reconnect againt. Spotify via bluetooth does not work also !!! Apple should stop focusing on some stupid watch and should first fix problems for devices people use every day !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. 2015 Nissan Leaf. iphone 5s will not connect to the stereo using a iphone 5 usb cable. Car audio cannot read files.

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