Remember when BMW charged $300 for Apple CarPlay?
We're used to Apple CarPlay being offered as free standard tech in modern cars, so BMW came under a lot of fire when it decided to greedily charge a $300 subscription fee to use Apple CarPlay in 2019 and 2020 models like the 7 Series and X7 equipped with navigation. BMW then offered a cheaper $80 fee for an annual subscription or you could pay $300 for 240 months.
After a considerable backlash from customers, BMW eventually scrapped these subscription packages and added free Apple CarPlay support like most other automakers. Unfortunately, owners are now experiencing a new problem with BMW's Apple CarPlay support.
Several BMW owners have reported that Apple CarPlay is no longer working. Worse still, others have been told they need to pay for the service when checking the status of the service online when it should be free. To be clear, Apple CarPlay didn't go down. Instead, the problem was caused by an issue with the BMW ConnectedDrive service, which allows users to pair devices and access Apple CarPlay on an iPhone wirelessly.
"I spoke with my sales rep at the dealership and verified issues are going on," a user experiencing the issue wrote on Reddit. "Had me check the customer portal website which has the car and all the information/apps on it."
"It shows that I'm subscribed to CarPlay. He said for some people who lost the feature it shows that they have to pay for the app all of a sudden, and some like myself are still showing a valid subscription."
BMW has since restored all connected services, so Apple CarPlay should now work in all BMW models without any issues, but a system error like this shouldn't be reactivating subscriptions. If you're still being prompted to pay for the service, it's recommended that you contact your local BMW dealer. Let's hope an over-the-air software update is released soon to prevent this from happening again and put an end to the BMW Apple CarPlay debacle once and for all.