A bug in a software update rolled out to the infotainment system in Lexus cars through a WiFi connection is reportedly breaking the unit’s functions.
Lexus acknowledged the problem on Twitter, and said that it is working on a fix but has not yet determined the cause of the problem.
Update: We apologize if your vehicle has experienced an error in the navigation head unit. pic.twitter.com/TVzch62Emm— Lexus (@Lexus) June 8, 2016
Drivers are reporting that the update prevents them accessing radio, navigation and climate control functions in the infotainment unit.
Only Lexus vehicles in the US are affected by the update, as the data transmitting service Lexus uses to roll out updates, dubbed Enform, is not available in Europe.
"Errant data broadcast by our traffic and weather data service provider was not handled as expected by the microcomputer in the vehicle navigation head unit (centre display) of 2014-16 model year Lexus vehicles and 2016 model year Toyota Land Cruiser," a Lexus spokeswoman explained to the BBC.
"In some situations, this can cause the head unit to restart repeatedly, affecting operation of the navigation system (if equipped), audio and climate control features. The data suspected to be the source of the error was corrected last night."
Lexus owners can fix the problem by having the infotainment system reset, which gets rid of the buggy data.
"Toyota and Lexus owners experiencing these issues should visit their dealer for a complimentary system reset and a confirmation of the system. We regret any inconvenience,” Lexus said.
However, the fix is not ideal for drivers who have bought a car from a company that has luxury and quality as part of its brand ethos.
Over-the-air updates are becoming increasingly common as cars gain more internet and WiFi access, particularly with the likes of Ford which uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to support the updating of its Sync 3 infotainment system.
But this increased connectivity expands the scope for spreading faulty software, and the increased connectivity opens cars to being broken into by hackers, as seen with the WiFi access vulnerability recently discovered in the Mitsubishi Outlander.
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