Hands-free cell phone use is encouraged for drivers behind the wheel these days, but what about hands-free television watching? A glitch in the Mercedes-Benz EQS’s massive infotainment system forced that question to be answered, and the answer is that drivers watching TV behind the wheel will get your car recalled.
Basically, the cars involved in the recall have incorrectly-configured software. Where the MBUX infotainment system is supposed to prevent drivers from accessing television streaming services while behind the wheel, this glitch actually allows any driver with an active Mercedes Me account on the infotainment system to watch television. So if you knew you were going to have to hit the road during the Succession finale, you could have watched it while you were driving.
That’s not great!
Mercedes-Benz started looking into this problem in mid-November 2021 when it heard of a single reported incident where software was incorrectly installed, which let the driver access digital media — like television streaming or reading the digital owner’s manual. It also noted that it doesn’t have reports of anyone actually taking advantage of the glitch.
Because it was a software situation, Mercedes-Benz was able to update the server that links the potentially-impacted cars, so the problem has been solved without actually requiring EQS or S-Class owners to head to a dealership.
The issue highlights one of the problems with the ultra-large and ultra-capable infotainment screens: They can become a huge distraction in a variety of ways, whether it’s watching TV or playing video games. Mercedes-Benz caught its issue and was willing to rectify it, but other automakers may not be so willing.