BMW i3 Owners Left Feeling Disconnected After Possible Telematics Failure

It’s a vision of the future that some of us with plug-in cars get to experience today: a future where our cars talk to us via smartphone apps; where we know about the latest traffic before anyone else; and our cars are always ready and waiting, cabins at the right temperature, before we leave.

Some BMW i3 owners are struggling to connect to their car's onboard telematics system, says The Register.

Some BMW i3 owners are struggling to connect to their car’s onboard telematics system, says The Register.

For owners of the BMW i3, BMW’s ConnectedDrive smartphone telematics technology promised all that and more, including the ability to plan multi-modal trips involving their electric car from the comfort of their smartphone.

But when a planned upgrade to BMW’s ConnectedDrive service went wrong last week, many BMW i3 owners around the world appear to have been left without the ability to log into the ConnectedDrive service, leaving owners feeling… unconnected.

First reported on various Facebook forums over the weekend and more recently on known EV-skeptic site The Register, many owners who were once able to connect their cars to BMW’s telematics service are now struggling, leaving them without the ability to remotely monitor or interact with their cars.

In other instances, BMW i3 owners have found they have been unable to add apps to their car’s on-board telematics system after a recent system upgrade, leaving them without the dashboard apps they want.

BMW's ConnectedDrive system also allows users to add specific apps -- like this music one -- to their car's telematics system.

BMW’s ConnectedDrive system also allows users to add specific apps — like this music one — to their car’s telematics system.

So far, every BMW i3 owner we have spoken to first hand has said their service is working fine, but The Register claims the outage, which may affect owners across Europe and beyond, started on or around July 17.

Of those owners it has spoken to, some say they have no connectivity, while others report sluggish performance.

The claimed system outage means affected owners can no-longer connect to their car remotely and also appears to manifest as an inability to connect their cars to BMW’s telematics service. Because the service operates independently of all car drive functions however, BMW i3 owners can carry on to drive their cars safely.

We’ve reached out to BMW for an official statement, and will bring it to you as soon as we have it.

In the meantime, if you’ve got a BMW i3, we’d love to know how well your ConnectedDrive telematics system is working. Are you able to operate your smartphone app as normal, or have you been scratching your head for a few days trying to figure out what’s gone wrong?

While we’re at it, let us know if you’re a plug-in car driver who uses a different Telematics system with your car, along with your impressions of it. Based on our own experiences, every telematics system we’ve seen has its own flaws and service blips.

Leave your thoughts in the Comments below.

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