If you’re bored and, inexplicably, decide to do a search on Twitter for car infotainment systems, when you get to checking out Fiat Chrysler’s UConnect system, things will start to get exciting. Not in a good way, though—exciting in the sense of many, many angry Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep owners complaining about how they’ve lost all their radio, navigation, rear-view camera, and more features without warning.
Here, just look at some of these tweets:
Oh, there’s many, many more. It appears that the over-the-air update to the UConnect system went out on Friday, and many, many owners have not had working center-stack systems since then. Many of these vehicles are nearly brand-new, which makes the issue even more maddening.
(I reached out to FCA to find out what was known about the issue, if it was affecting all versions of the system, when a fix was expected, and so on, but I was surprised to find that the representative I spoke with wasn’t aware of the problem until I described it. I reached out to FCA two more times, but the first time I was told they had no statement or information yet, and the most recent time I had to leave a message. We’ll update with FCA’s response when we get it.)
The failure of the UConnect system isn’t just limited to not having a radio; like almost all modern automotive infotainment systems, the center screen, controlled by UConnect, handles things like rear-view camera systems, navigation, cell phone connection systems like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, some climate control functions, many system and user settings, and more.
Losing access to the system on a new FCA vehicle is a major problem.
According to the UConnect Cares support Twitter feed, they are at least aware there’s an issue:
Over-the-air software updates are incredibly convenient and effective, but if there’s a problem, you can see results like this.
While it does appear that the user has to actually accept an update via a dialog box, there’s no information about the update, and there’s little reason for an owner to mistrust or not accept regular updates.
Now, though, I’d suggest that any owners of Jeeps, Chryslers, Dodges, Ram trucks, or Fiats should maybe touch the ‘No’ button there and give this recent update a pass until it gets fixed.
Unless you really hate your radio. In that case, this should teach it a lesson.
We’ll update with more information as we get it.
Update Feb. 13, 2018 8:28 am: Some owners have reported they got no option to decline the update, and it installed automatically.