We hope you like listening to KUOW.
For whatever reason, several Mazda CX-5 crossovers and other products from the brand that were assembled in 2016 are experiencing a strange phenomenon over in Seattle. All users operating in the Puget Sound area who, at some point, set their radio dial to KUOW's 94.9 FM frequency have been unable to change it. The station says it came to know about the issue thanks to some social media posts of Mazda owners complaining about the situation.
The first case came from Scott Smith from Seattle who criticized the infotainment system of his car for being glitchy. After a routine grocery store run, he returned to his 2016 CX-5 to find that the system was scrolling through different screens and options but was unable to put a stop to it, even after rebooting. He then noticed that National Public Radio (NPR) could be heard through the speakers, but he could not use the car's navigation or Bluetooth features.
Smith says that the fact that he listens to NPR so it wasn't a train smash. The only setting he can adjust as of now is the volume. KUOW confirms that other owners from the region with a Mazda of a similar year have suffered from the same issue. Service managers representing three local dealerships state that several calls have been received from customers who say that their radio frequency is locked in over the past few weeks.
The station confirms that it is not clear why its frequency is being chosen as a permanent station but it does theorize that the recent 5G rollout and subsequent 3G shutdown could have a part to play. Considering that the 2016 models can only support 3G and that radio frequencies have nothing to do with mobile networks, the possibility of this is highly unlikely.
KUOW spokesperson Michaela Gianotti says that the station is "in contact with Xperi, the company who owns the technology behind HD Radio, and has given them complete access to our transmitters to investigate what is causing this issue." Until the issue is resolved, owners of these glitchy Mazdas are going to have to stay tuned.
The station reached out to Mazda USA for a comment but they were met without a response. Some service managers at local dealerships did confirm that a replacement part could be rolled-out in the next few weeks. Smith says that when he contacted his dealer for a fix, the service agent informed him that he was one of the hundreds who were suffering from the fault. Whether or not this results in one of the strangest recalls around is yet to be seen.